HILARY MAG ANNIVERSARY ISSUE COVER PAGE
Letter from the Editor â€˘ Letter from HILARY
Contributors Page â€˘ Writers, Designer Bios
Contributors Page â€˘ Writers, Designer Bios
TOC • • •
CELEBRITY 15 most inspirational Celebrities: Past celebrity articles – –
Celebrity Worship article Celebrity Interviews & Photos
• • • • •
FEATURES 15 Things we Miss from the 90's 15 Things we can't believe we lived without (stuff we didn't have in 1995 that we'd die without - mainly technology) Past Hilary features that have exploded: – – –
Online Dating Inside the Playboy Mansion: A Childhood Lost Navigating the Velvet Rope (plus interview Damion & Genc)
• • • • • • •
FASHION 15 Necessities for Classic Style Fashion Then (1995) and Now (2010) - photoshoot Fashion articles from website BEAUTY 15 Beauty Secrets Past Hilary Articles: –
Spas We Love (sponsors?)
Spa Faux Pas: A guide to etiquette
No Fat Chicks Measuring Up
TOC • •
TRAVEL 15 Timeless Places –
• • •
Past Hilary Articles – –
Necker? Mustique? Jamaica articles
Good Reviews from website (sponsors?)
INSPIRATION 15 Entrepreneurs Past articles – – – – –
Map with pop-out boxes
Interviews with female entrepreneurs Interview with Meredith Etherington-Smith Interview with Deepa Mehta Interview with Blake Mycoskie Interview with Lauren Bush
DATING & SEX Top 15 Dating Tips (pull 10 from Top 10 Dating Tips article) Past Articles – –
Use Speed Dating Article (include page number in corresponding section) Keep Him Calling
NY's Dating Queen
– – –
Preventing Infidelity Mail Order Brides Increase your Libido (make shorter)
Closing Thoughts/letter – –
New How to make the most of the next 15 years
AD PAGE (NF)
CELEBRITY COVER PAGE
15 Inspirational Celebs
15 Inspirational Celebs
NEW CELEB INTERVIEWS • Adrian Grenier • Oprah?
NEW CELEB INTERVIEWS
NEW CELEB INTERVIEWS
NEW CELEB INTERVIEWS
NEW CELEB INTERVIEWS
NEW CELEB INTERVIEWS
NEW CELEB INTERVIEWS
NEW CELEB INTERVIEWS
NEW CELEB INTERVIEWS
NEW CELEB INTERVIEWS
Celebrity Worship By Michele Maatouk We all know that celebrity magazines are the literary equivalent of a latenight snack. We know it's wrong, and shameful, but we just can't help ourselves. I'd love to be able to sit here and take the intellectual high ground, dismissing them all as pure, unadulterated gutter tripe, but in truth I love them. There, I've said it now and it's too late to take it back. The whole process involved in the buying and reading of these magazines is completely mad; it defies logic. Every week I promise myself I'll be strong, and stay away from them, but once I'm in the newsstand and I see them there up on the shelves, all glossy and new, I'm like a kid in a candy shop. But every week it's the same story. I buy the magazines, I flick through the pages and within a matter of minutes, I've scanned every photograph, and read every last word from cover to cover. Yes, we all love a juicy bit of gossip, but to be fed the same stories every week? As a kid, I remember throwing hissy fits any time my mom would try to feed me the same meal two days running; have my standards dropped somewhere along the way? What's more, there doesn't ever seem to be anything of substance to actually sink your teeth into. These magazines - made up of little more than photographs and captions (and not particularly clever ones at that) â€“ aren't all that dissimilar to children's picture books. But again, for some strange and unknown reason, although I'm totally aware of it on every level, I can't seem to hold on to this fact for very long. This may well be far-fetched, but I believe there's something mystical and hypnotic about them. Only last week, I met up for coffee with a good friend of mine, who just happened to have two such celebrity magazines hidden in her conveniently oversized handbag. We sat down, and without saying a word, we each reached for a magazine, and started flicking the pages, transfixed.
So what is this unhealthy obsession we have with celebrities and "celebrity gossip"? Have our own lives really become so dull, so deeply uneventful that pictures of celebrities with unsightly sweat patches or badly coiffed hair become the highlight of our days? Or is it simply that these magazines provide us with a cheap and cheerful alternative to all the horrors in the world? With poverty, war, famine, and natural disasters rife all over the globe, do we reach for these magazines for some form of relief? I'd like to think so. But what provides us with our daily escapism also feeds into some troubling trends. One of the scariest new phenomena, is the "everyone-loves-a-ditz" culture that's been creeping up on us slowly over the past few years. Watching a re-run of Newlyweds the other day (I won't even try to deny I enjoy it), I almost choked when, asked by her mother if she would like buffalo wings in a restaurant, Jessica Simpson replied "I don't eat buffalo." The blonde bombshell has also been quoted for saying "I think there's a difference between ditzy and dumb. Dumb is just not knowing. Ditzy is having the courage to ask!" This woman is one of America's Sweethearts, idolised by girls (and fully-grown women) all over the world, proving that stupid comments like that actually work in her favour, helping to re-enforce that ditzy, girl-next-door image she's been busy cultivating for the last few years. Rather than being branded dumb, celebrities like Jessica Simpson have built their whole persona around the idea that it's cute to be innocent, and naïve – the little-girl-lost act for the camera. And as a result, her, and those like her, have come to be seen as charming and endearing. Another societal trend brought on by these magazines is that we can't seem to get enough of criticising celebrities. When they're healthy, and a normal-looking size 12, they're too fat, and when they're skinny, they're too skinny. Those who have plastic surgery are condemned, but those who try to age gracefully get snapped in unflattering poses and splattered all over the front pages. But in the end, it's worth it. Yeah, you heard me, I said it's worth it. It's not about the magazines – or even the broader impact they have on society – it's about those precious moments, just before I reach into my purse, when these magazines are still full of promise. Maybe the whole reason we keep buying these magazines is because they're always the same. In an ever-changing world, where nothing stays still for more than a few minutes, these magazines are a constant and dependable source of comfort. They know what we like and we know what to expect of them. As long as we keep them in moderation – just like that midnight snack – as vices go, I'd say this one's pretty harmless.
By Hilary Rowland W hen Charlize Theron walks into a room, people notice. At 5'10", stunningly gorgeous, blonde and elegant, she doesn't exactly blend in. But it's not her beauty that has been getting her attention recently. It's her choice of unique roles and her Oscar-winning acting ability. Charlize's warm and accepting personality shines through when you talk to her, and you feel instantly comfortable. She's come a long way from the farm in the town of Benoni in South Africa, where she grew up, to where she is now. It wasn't an easy journey for Charlize, who struggled to be taken seriously. Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, the then dewy 18-year-old Charlize was approached by an experienced Hollywood director who asked her to read for a role in his latest film. "It was a little odd that the audition was on a Saturday night, at his house in Los Angeles, but I didn't know anything about the business, so I thought maybe that was the normal thing," Charlize recalls. "[When I arrived] he was in his Hugh Hefner pajamas. I thought, Maybe this is how he works. I go inside, and he's offering me a drink, and I'm thinking, My God, this acting stuff's very relaxed! When do we actually start working? It pretty soon became very clear to me what the situation was." With all the conviction of the strong, independent woman she has become, she says: "I knew how to deal with it: 'Not going to happen. Wrong girl, buddy.'" It's this professionalism and conviction of values that Charlize is now known for in Hollywood circles. Perhaps some of her conviction comes from her strict and often harsh upbringing. She is unafraid to tell us that her mother, who she is very close to, disciplined her harshly by hitting her with "whatever was around: a hairbrush, a shoe--the shoe was a big one", when she stepped out of line. "My mother disciplined me," she says. "It couldn't happen in America today, because she'd be put in jail, and to me that's a very sad thing, because I always deserved it. Never once did I go, 'God, this is so unfair.' Afterward, I would go up to her and apologize, because I knew that I had been wrong." Charlize's life got more difficult when she witnessed her mother shoot and kill her drunk and abusive father in self-defense, when she was just 15-years-old. Perhaps it is because of the trials she has had to endure from an early age, that she is able to convey such seemingly authentic sadness and desperation in her work. "I guess if I didn't have this job, I'd have to go to therapy. But I don't go to therapy--so I need this job! I don't really want to pay someone to tell them my problems. I would rather be paid to tell my problems!" she quips.
Charlize's career in the performance industry started off as a professionally trained ballet dancer, but stopped because of a knee injury. At the time she viewed her injury as devastating, but she now sees it for what it was: one of the many twists of fate that brought her to where she is today. Another such twist was a national modeling competition, which she won. Upon hearing the news, at the ripe age of 16, Charlize immediately quit high school and began traveling. Charlize walked the catwalks of Milan and Paris before taking a job to the big screen in 1997 with her breakthrough role in MGM's 2 Days in the Valley. From there she burst onto the screen with roles in Trial and Error and shortly thereafter she worked with Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino in Devil's Advocate. "During my 20s at auditions, I felt I had to prove that I wasn't just pretty, that I had acting chops. Now I don't do that anymore. I know who I am." Her outstanding acting ability soon became apparent to all the right people in Hollywood, including Tom Hanks, who cast her in That Thing You Do. About the Hollywood machine, Charlize seems sanguine, "When all (the Hollywood hype) falls away, what is left? The work, living and breathing a character. When you find that core, nothing else matters." Charlize showed the world that she is not only a beautiful face, by playing Aileen Wournos in Monsterback in 2003, which earned her an Oscar for Best Actress. After winning the Oscar, she returned to South Africa to celebrate with former South African President Nelson Mandela, and burst into happy tears at his kind words about her contributions to the country. Not surprisingly, she says: "Now I don't want anything to change in my life. It's all so good, I just want more..." she says. "No--I'm ready for the next chapter, ready for right now, ready for tonight!"
By Hilary Rowland When Hilary Swank walks into a room she commands attention. The star of Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby is strikingly beautiful and abundantly talented. When you see her in person it's obvious why in she is named one ofPeople magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People." For a famous actress who has earned two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes and an Independent Spirit Award, Hilary is surprisingly humble and down-to-earth. Perhaps this has something to do with her trailer-park upbringings in Bellingham, Washington and the fact that she succeeded through hard work and talent -- in a Hollywood where success frequently comes through family connections and industry contacts. For starring in her breakthrough film, Boys Don't Cry, for which she won her first Oscar, she earned a meager $3,000. Hilary won the lead role of Brandon Teena after three hundred other actresses had been considered and rejected over the course of three years. Hilary works hard for all her roles. To prepare for Million Dollar Baby, for which Hilary won her second Oscar, she radically overhauled her body by enduring three months of intensive physical training. "I had to eat about 210 grams of protein a day, so I'd drink egg whites and protein shakes and flax oil." She nearly died during her training from potentially fatal blood poisoning. "I was in a bad way. It got to the point that where I couldn't walk." But Hilary shrugs it off, as if all actresses would go through this kind of torture. "My job was to do my best to look like a boxer." And that she did. I first met Hilary Swank at the Tavern on the Green in New York City. We were at an awards ceremony and she sat down next to me, said "Hilary" and stuck her hand out. My first reaction was to wonder how she knew who I was and there was a bit of confusion until we realized that we shared the same name -- and spelled it the same way! We ranted for a bit about Hillary Clinton jokes and how the former first lady misspelled her name. Over the next year I saw Hilary at the Golden Globes, the Independent Spirit Awards and the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, and she always made a point of saying hello. Now, at the posh Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto, Hilary sits comfortably in a chair, her left knee propped against the table. She is wearing black boot-cut pants and a delicately lacy black top. She excuses herself and gets up to pour herself a cup of coffee at the buffet. She brings the cream back with her, but decides against using it. Instead she pours half a packet of "Raw Sugar" into her black coffee and delicately takes a sip. "My schedule is so packed," she explains almost apologetically, "I'm booked up the rest of the day and I fly out tonight." I feel lucky that she made time for this interview as she was flying home to New York to appear on The Late Show with Jay Lenolater that evening. I don't know how she does it. She must be one of those rare people who can survive -- and still be articulate -- on next to no sleep.
HILARY Magazine: How do you deal with critics and the public's opinions? Hilary Swank: "I think that any time you start concerning yourself with what people think you're going to fail, because you're never going to please everybody. If you try to make everybody happy you might as well quit. I think that what I have to do -- and what I remind myself of constantly -- is love what I'm doing because I care so much about it and I put so much into it that I need to be able to respond to it." HILARY Magazine: Do you ever get hounded by paparazzi? Hilary Swank: "You know, I think that's just part of the job. I'm not a scandalous person so it's not like they're searching for me left and right to catch me doing something bad 'cause I guess I'm just so boringly clean." HILARY Magazine: How did your life change after you won the Oscar for Best Actress? Hilary Swank: "What's interesting is that my life didn't really change. When I watched the Oscars I used to always say 'God, I bet their lives will never be the same.' But you're still the same person and you still have to do the laundry and walk the dog--you know, you're the same person. My job opportunities have changed, that is a positive change." HILARY Magazine: Did you have a trick or method that helped you to play Brandon Teena so convincingly in your breakthrough film, Boys Don't Cry? Hilary Swank: "I tried to find the humanity that transcended gender. I didn't play Brandon as an alter male ego. I didn't think it was a gender that I was playing - it was something deeper than that, a quality that we all have as humans." HILARY Magazine: When you're immersed in a role and doing a movie do you find that you're cut-off from your friends and life outside of the industry? Hilary Swank: "For sure, especially when I went off to do Boys Don't Cry; I told everyone that I'm not going to call anyone and I'm just totally unreachable for this amount of time because you just have to totally immerse. For The Affair of the Necklace I was a bit more available. I flew my grandfather and mother in to visit. My best friend visited as well and brought her kids. So you try to keep those avenues open although you can't be as available as you'd like to be as a family member or wife or friend. But it's one of those things you choose when you choose your career. There's pros and cons of everything, I mean, if you choose to be a lawyer you may have to work long hours as well. It's one of those things you have to just weigh."
HILARY Magazine: Is it hard to keep your priorities in tact when you're constantly busy working and on set? Hilary Swank: "I think that we always need to be questioning what it is we want to be doing with our lives and making our priorities very clear. I think that after Sept. 11th I certainly have reevaluated my priorities, I was always talking my priorities and now I'm really trying to live my priorities. You live once and you have to hopefully learn before it's too late what your priorities are. I ask myself often to make sure that I'm doing what I want to be doing and living the life that I want to be living and that I'm in check. All those important questions I think everyone should ask themselves." HILARY Magazine: What inspires you to pursue theater when you are being offered so many movie roles? Hilary Swank: "I started my career doing local theater. I think you just have to be happy with what you're doing and even though I'm getting this opportunity as an actress to work in film, I want to make sure that I'm doing theater too because that's what's inspiring to me. Unfortunately it seems like I'm doing a movie every time that the play comes along that I think I could be a part of, but I believe in fate -- I really think it'll work out. I really love LOVE theater. It's a totally different feeling; it's just so different." HILARY Magazine: You seem to be choosing a lot of interesting but lower-budget movies than most Oscar winners. Do you prefer working on lower budget films as opposed to blockbusters? Hilary Swank: "You choose to do a film because you're drawn to it one way or another and I'm lucky that I don't have to make career choices because of money. If a blockbuster movie came my way and I loved the story and I wanted to be a part of it then I would hope that I would gain what ever I was supposed to from that creatively. But with lower budget movies like Boys Don't Cry, you get a certain artistic collaboration that doesn't necessarily happen on that level when you work on a bigger budget movie. With blockbusters you get more money and have more time to explore camera angles or different takes but on smaller budget films you don't have that. So there are pros and cons to both." HILARY Magazine: You live in New York. Does living outside of LA affect the roles you're offered and you're involvement in the industry? Hilary Swank: "When I moved, a lot of people said 'Aren't you afraid to move away from LA where there are all these opportunities for you?' I do think that once you get to a certain place [in your career] you don't necessarily need to be in a town or a certain area and I'm really blessed and lucky for that because I love my lifestyle living in New York. I also want to do theatre and I have this wonderful new place in which to expand those career opportunities as well, and that's really exciting."
FEATURES COVER PAGE
15 Fads from the 90â€™s
15 Fads from the 90â€™s
New Feature Article
New Feature Article
INTERNET DATING Internet Dating: Is Anybody Virtually Home? By Amy Cohen In on-line dating speak, I was already on third base: I had given out my digits, and now I was only a phone-call away from a home run (that is, actually going out on a 'real' date). I landed on first base only two weeks prior, when my potential date had instant messaged me at work, marveling, as I was talking with a coworker about printing out our annual financial reports, at the mystery of green Ketchup. Of course, being a die-hard red Ketchup purist myself, I was instantly intrigued, and wrote back that, "Indeed, trying to sell a green condiment oozing its snotty way onto a hotdog or hamburger for human consumption must have been a marketing nightmare." And soon after, we were well on our way onto second base, emailing each other back and forth daily, both equally mesmerized at the success of Carrot Top, and dumbfounded that despite having never had a frontal lobotomy (that we know of), Jessica Simpson believes that buffalo wings come from actual buffalo. Eventually, after a couple of weeks of sharing our pop culture opinions, my electronic boy toy asked me for my phone number, which I very naively assumed meant that he must actually want to call me. In retrospect, I can plainly see that this was just an ingenious ruse by a virtual hope-dasher to make me fantasize about our future wedding together and two clever kids who would avoid green Ketchup and its evil blue twin like the plague.
In fact, my potential on-line date never called. He virtually vanished into thin air, leaving me to wonder, "Was it something I didn't say?" I didn't write to him again after giving him my number, figuring we could ditch the time-consuming, finger-blistering, eye-destroying pains of typing our conversations for the easier and more personal luxury of speaking into a phone. So I know I didn't screw anything up by sending out an email that may have sent out more warning signals than a forty-year old man wearing make-up and playing with monkeys named Bubbles. So why didn't he call? After speaking with other single women dating on-line with similar experiences, I've come to a simple conclusion: men are idiots. OK, well maybe it's a bit more complicated than that, but not by much. I think that many of the men who use these on-line services feel safe behind the relative anonymity of the written word. When I'm talking through a computer screen, I don't have to worry about the tone of my voice or whether there's a bit of broccoli stuck between my teeth. I can plan out every word that I say, taking my time to come back with a witty remark to something he had said in a previous email. I don't have to concern myself with awkward pauses or an errant strand of hair; I can be myself, only better. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it. It is possible that we weren't connecting as much as I thought we were, or he was just being lazy and let the time lapse to the point where he was too embarrassed to call. Perhaps I should've gotten his number. It is the 21st century after all. And to get ahead (and get the guy) in this technological day and age, you have to be quick on your feet if you want to make it around all the bases.
NAVIGATING THE VELVET ROPE 3 Steps to Getting In: Navigating the Narrow Velvet Rope By Bess Devenow Exclusivity plays a huge role in a hotspot maintaining that "it" factor. However, if your view of the scene is obstructed by a debacle at the door, your luck is quickly about to change! Specifically, my years of experience in event planning and the luxury lifestyle in the nation's top markets have taught me a thing or two about how to avoid being permanently stuck on the wrong side of the velvet rope. Without further ado, here is a crash course on "iron-clad door etiquette": 1) Maintain A Club Friendly Ratio And Crowd Males, this especially applies to you. Unless you are an A-lister, don't bank on your entire gaggle of guys getting in. Specifically, you will want a desirable ratio of girls to guys, with females in the majority (this shouldn't be too big a problem in Manhattan, there are allegedly two girls for every guy). Also, it is key to "look the part". Specifically, if you are going to a "Leather and Lace" night, do not come clad in newly pressed Khakis and deck shoes (although if you view the latter look as nightwear friendly, you are a walking "What Not To Wear" advertisement). 2) Feign An "In" With The Doorman Ensuring that the ratio falls in your favor is just one piece of the pre-outing required research. Specifically, before you even stake your position in the seemingly never-ending line, brush up on who will be manning the door (either from clued-in friends, nightlife blogs, or online club reviews). Since some of the scenester haunts maintain a rotation of door staff, make sure you know who will be in charge the night you plan on coming by. Once you reach the head of the line (and yes, this might take a while but remember, Rome wasn't built in a day), greet the doorman like an old friend. Specifically, offer a breezy "hello" and casually drop their first name. Don't be surprised or intimidated if the clipboard wielder gives you an intense stare (he or she is trying to place you) and during this brief few seconds (which may feel like an eternity), maintain your cool.
Trina Albus, founder and president of ripe, echoes the sentiment of staying cool and friendly with the doorman. Says Albus: "Giving attitude or emitting a sense of entitlement will often guarantee you to be shut down. What's worse is that the doorman may likely remember you the next time around if you threw a big enough fit. The best advice when you get turned away - say thank you and go somewhere else." What will likely ensue is one of the following two outcomes: a. Best case scenario (most likely if you arrive early in the evening and are with a small group) you and your entourage are immediately allowed in. b. Less ideal (but still not defeatist) scenario, the doorman asks how you know him. Rather than a lengthy brown-nosing response, nonchalantly respond "from here of course". Note: if you are at a new spot, slot in the venue name where the doorman worked prior (which you have already researched). 3) Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Namedropping the evening's turntable talent also helps maximize your chances of getting in. Not only do DJ's often invite their inner circle to their gigs but the likelihood of a doorman leaving his post to interrupt a busy DJ during his set to ask if you are legit is slim to none. Note that in the case of a "mega DJ" this approach is not recommended (as "everybody knows the DJ").
PLAYBOY MANSION Interview with Jennifer Saginor, Author ofPlayground A Childhood Trapped Inside the Playboy Mansion By Stephanie Dawe Jennifer Saginor grew up with unlimited gumballs, homemade cookies, pool parties everyday, no homework and no bedtime. Sounds like a fantasy land for children, except for the drugs, half naked playmates and Hugh Hefner. Jennifer's revealing and unbelievable story is documented in her new biography, Playground. Her story is definitely not your average biography; in one case she discusses having witnessed her very intelligent father turn into a syringe bearing maniac, carrying around an UZI, paranoid the mafia was after his pounds of cocaine, which she discovered hidden in the bathroom. Her fantasy land had quickly turned into a nightmare that no one could save her from. Today Jennifer hosts high stakes poker games in upscale cigar bars in Beverly Hills with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Leonardo Dicaprio and Tobey Maguire to name a few. By night she ventures off into places she feels more at home, like nightclubs and after hour's bars. "On some level I still don't respect women because I was conditioned to view them as whores, hookers, and commodities with a price tag." After reading all the juicy details of Jennifer's memoir, including an affair with Hugh Hefner's girlfriend at the age of 15 (yes Hugh Hefner's girlfriend) there were many questions to be asked, and HILARY Magazine recently sat down with Jennifer to get all the answers about her childhood and life. HILARY Magazine: The book begins when you are six years old, and you write in the voice of a highly intelligent child. Are the first few chapters based on what you recall thinking at that age or what you think now looking back on your memories of your childhood lost inside the Playboy Mansion? Jennifer: I kept journals when I was in elementary school and high school and looked back at the entries I had written. At one point, I was so terrified in my father's house that I took my journals and put them in a safety deposit box at a bank in Beverly Hills because I sensed my father was reading them. He would recite lines I had written and it scared me. "I have adapted a bad temper. Quick disregard, and disrespectful comments fly out of my mouth when my emotional needs are not met. I was never taught how to be loving, nothing is ever good enough, and no one can ever meet my needs.â€œ
HILARY Magazine: During that time, you write that your mother seemed to be reaching out to you, can you tell us a little bit about her role. Jennifer: My mother knew my father was a violent man who carried a gun. He was forceful, abusive, and extremely well connected. All of his police records have been magically erased. Even the most current news last April of him & Hefner and an underage sex scandal was never mentioned again after the Cindy Adam article in the NY Post. My mother was frightened of him and was too weak to save me from such a powerful figure. Instead, she lived in denial and told herself that I chose to move in with him because I was seduced by his extravagant lifestyle. HILARY Magazine: You specifically write about moving out of your mother's home as a teenager and moving in with your father. You say that you were finally breaking free from the confines of reality and entering a fantasy land of enchanted fables. Do you still question, or regret the decision you made to move in with your father? Jennifer: If I stayed with my mother, perhaps she would have taught me the basic survival skills of life that I did not learn at my father's. However, my mother was never the nurturing, caretaking type so I felt very empty inside. She was self-absorbed with an aloof, cold demeanor. My decision to move out of her house was due in part to the emotional connection I started feeling towards Kendall (Carrie Leigh, Hefner's girlfriend). If I had stayed at my mother's house I would not be able to see Kendall every night. I yearned for attention and love so desperately; I began to seek it out at all costs. I misinterpreted Kendall's attention and took to heart her words of "love" and "wanting to be together forever" because it offered me a sense of security, no matter how false it ended up being in the long run. HILARY Magazine: Was it hard for you to write the book and bring back all the memories and horrors you experienced? Jennifer: It was very hard. The most difficult thing to deal with was the fact that not only did nobody believe the story but the power that empires like Playboy have to quietly influence people. Harper Collins almost didn't publish the book unless I could find reliable sources to call in and give testimonials admitting they witnessed the underage affair and all the other absurdities that occurred. I was told to cut out 200 pages and watered down the true reality of all the characters and their actions.
HILARY Magazine: As you write in the book the environment your father created taught you how to treat and critique women, it showed you how women were judged by their outer beauty, and also that women are disposable, expendable, and interchangeable and very quickly replaced after use. How have these teachings affected your relationships with men or with women? Jennifer: I identify with men mentally because on some level I still don't respect women because I was conditioned to view them as whores, hookers, and commodities with a price tag. Though another part of me longs for them on an emotional level because I am still searching for the nurturance, affection and unconditional love I never received as a child from my mother. I have adapted a bad temper like my father, the same kind of quick disregard, and disrespectful comments fly out of my mouth when my emotional needs are not met. I was never taught how to be loving, nothing is ever good enough, and no one can ever meet my needs because I am searching for something I will never find, a mother.â€œ HILARY Magazine: The enemy in your book is clearly your father; do you blame Hugh Hefner for allowing a child to have free reign in such a dangerous place? Jennifer: I don't blame anyone, although my father would encourage me to go up to the mansion by leaving me notes on the upstairs hallway floor saying: "I'm at the Mansion, come up if you're bored." What teenager wouldn't want to go to a fantasy land instead of staying home alone in an empty house doing homework and eating dinner by themselves? HILARY Magazine:Do you ever blame Hugh for turning your father into the monster you claim he became, by introducing him to the environment and to the women that broke your parent's marriage? Jennifer: My father is a very intelligent nerd from Ohio. He was seduced by the lifestyle. He lost his identity by living in the shadow of Hefner. He devoted his entire life to Hefner, and some even say they were lovers. The only thing I think is pathetic is that they are no longer friends after 30 years because Hefner needed to distance himself for political reasons. "...she was simply living by the rules of the Mansion at the time which included: inappropriate behavior, no sexual boundaries, and taking advantage of innocent minors." HILARY Magazine: Your first sexual experience with a woman was at 15; in the book you wrote that you were both so young, both searching. Do you feel you were searching for a mother figure? Jennifer: Yes, 100%. In every relationship with a woman, I end up expecting more than one person can give. I am on a constant search for the unconditional love I should have received from my mother and did not. When my needs are not met I lash out like an angry child.
HILARY Magazine: Supposedly Hugh Hefner made a public statement claiming your book is based on lies, including the sexual sighting of John Belushi in the secret grotto you write about having witnessed when you were six, and the Playboy channel you used to watch. What's your side of the story? Jennifer: He said to me "Jennifer you got a few dates wrong," like he was correcting my math. The sighting of John Belushi in the grotto with a playmate was actually in 1977 a year and a half later than the mentioned 1975, and the Playboy channel may have been a porno, a six year-old doesn't know the difference. If Hefner thought my book was all lies he wouldn't invite me to his parties. I was just there for Halloween. He never told me any of it was lies, in fact he said it was well written and he hoped it would do well. Playboy is a publicly traded company, maybe he had to say that because he didn't want to talk about me having an affair as a minor on his property. HILARY Magazine: It was reported in the New York Post that Kendall (Carrie Leigh) and her husband are planning the biggest libel trial against you and your publisher, Harper Collins, claiming she never molested you at 15. What is the truth behind this? Is she planning to take you to court? Jennifer: This person is obviously a very desperate, bored housewife. How pathetic for some random person to come out and announce that she is Kendall. Basically what she is saying is "Hi! That's me and I molested a 15 year-old!" What an idiot. In fact, I went out of my way to romanticize the affair instead of making it read like molestation. Neither Harper Collins nor I are worried about some attention-seeking, money hungry opportunist claiming she is Kendall. I had witnesses who gave testimonies of my affair with Kendal, and love notes that she wrote that were proved to have been her hand writing. Mitch Rosen, Hefner's limo driver and butler during the 80's was a key witness at my interview with 20/20 Germany last week. He used to secretly pick me up at my father's house with Kendall inside the limo. He witnessed us making out and explained how the affair seemed very "normal" because being bisexual at the Mansion was an every day occurrence. He said everyone at the Mansion, including Mr. Hefner himself knew of the affair. In fact, Mitch delivered cocktails to Mr. Hefner's bedroom one night and recalls seeing me, Kendall and another playmate on his bed when I was only 17. HILARY Magazine: With all that has happened, have you ever had the desire to be a Playmate? Jennifer: My body is not for sale. I have enough body issues as it is. But I think it is a good opportunity for girls who don't care about the world seeing them physically naked. HILARY Magazine: Since becoming a Playmate is obviously out of the question what are your plans for the future, career wise? Jennifer: I plan to get more into producing, making a movie out of one of my books, either Playground or Medicated. I wrote a screenplay, a romantic comedy called stray (not gay, not straight, STRAY). It had Alicia Silverstone attached to star and produce, but it never got produced unfortunately.
HILARY Magazine: Do you feel that she took advantage of you and your vulnerability? Jennifer: Yes. She knew exactly how to manipulate me. It was not that difficult to figure out. Though she did take advantage of me, I truly believe she did not know any better because when you are caught up in a world with no restrictions or rules, everything inappropriate seems normal. So she was simply living by the rules of the Mansion at the time which included: inappropriate behavior, no sexual boundaries, and taking advantage of innocent minors. HILARY Magazine: You wrote that there are some people you will never forget. She is one of them (Kendall). Do you still think of her or miss her? Jennifer: No, of course I do not miss her. She is a gold digger, opportunist who molested a minor. HILARY Magazine: You wrote: I'm used to the little voice in my head that believes the world owes me something and that civilized behavior is a waste of time. How has your outlook on life changed since then? Jennifer: I was never taught the basics of how to get along. Conditioned as I was to see life through my parents' filtered lenses, I slowly learned that everything is the opposite of what it had seemed. I quickly learned that I was not taught the basics of how to get along. HILARY Magazine: You are obviously still dealing emotionally with your dysfunctional childhood, which explains the uncertain ending to your memoir. Has publishing the book, letting out all of the skeletons of your past, and explaining your deep dark secrets to anyone who wants to read them helped you get some sort of closure from your past so you can have a better understanding for your future? Jennifer: No. We are taught to love our parents but all I feel is rage. I wish I were still a little girl whose parents read to her and tucked her in at night; held her hand at crosswalks. Hopefully my next book Medicated, which delves into the aftermath of a traumatic childhood, will help me move on with my life. HILARY Magazine: How has publishing the book affected your life now? How has it affected your relationships with the people you mention, your mother, father, sister, and Hefner? Jennifer: I don't talk to my family; my mother, father or sister. I haven't spoken to my father since I last saw him at the Mansion â€“ before he went to rehab. My mother still lives in denial which is ironic because she is a well educated psychologist. She was not supportive of me publishing Playground. She said: "who would want to read about your life?" I told her: "I think my childhood was unique and many people may understand why I sought after love and affection in another woman after they read this, instead of being disgusted by it." Like my fellow classmates, the Menendez brothers, there is nowhere for kids to go if they are being abused at home in Beverly Hills. In many ways I can relate to their situation because their father was abusing them while their mother stood by and let it happen.
FASHION COVER PAGE
15 Necessities for Classic Style
15 Necessities for Classic Style
SHOES Obsessed with Designer Shoes Diamonds may have been a girl's best friend, but shoes are giving them a run for their money.By Samantha Read Cinderella knew something all women know: the value of the perfect pair of heels. When her foot delicately slid into the glass slipper, she not only sported some enviable footwear, she also landed herself a new man and a substantial income boost. "I don't know who invented the high heel, but all men owe a lot to him." - Marilyn MonroeWhile most women don't chose shoes based on their life-altering potential, there remains an unmistakable bond between a woman and her footwear. In short, women are shoe-obsessed. Psychologists have vigorously sought the hidden meaning of shoes, ranging from phallic symbols to secret vessels. Some claim that the female shoe-collector is a frustrated traveler, while others believe she is symbolically searching for enlightenment. It may even be simpler than that, says fashion critic Holly Brubach. A new pair of shoes "might not cure a broken heart or soothe a tension headache," she writes, "but they will relieve the symptoms and chase away the blues." Whatever the reason, women love their shoes. In 2003 alone women in the United States spent a whopping $16 billion on footwear. Women line up around the block in all weather if they catch word of a shoe sale, and know that a new pair of shoes is often the best way to attain a style makeover - after all, they won't make you look fat! In Japan, designer shoes are taken very seriously. Footwear lined with brick-sized soles has been the rage among women in their teens and twenties, with some of the shoes reaching as high as 20 centimeters (8 inches!). Women haul themselves around in them with the belief that the shoes make themselves appear taller, their legs longer and their faces smaller in proportion. Stylish young women have always been willing to put up with a little discomfort for fashion's sake. While there have been serious cases of Japanese women toppling off their designer shoes and breaking bones due to the fall, some shoes may actually be good for you. A recent study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health shows that women who wear high heeled shoes may actually be protected from knee joint problems, as there was a link between regular dancing in three inch heels and a reduced risk of knee problems. Health benefits aside, pop culture has given shoes a leg up in popularity. InThe Wizard of Oz, the Good Witch gave Dorothy sparkling ruby red pumps as a reward for knocking off one of the Wicked Witches. Those shoes gave her a whole new persona, and she was able to courageously find her way home (alright, this may be stretching it a tad).
We all remember former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos and her infamous collection of designer shoes. Once quoted as saying "I have no weakness for shoes", she recently donated her enormous collection of over 1200 shoes to the Shoe Museum near Manila. Whether she liked it or not, there is no doubt that shoes changed this first lady's life. "I have been ridiculed, vilified and persecuted because of my shoes. But in a way they saved me. Because when they went through my closets looking for skeletons, all they found were shoes." Style icon Sarah Jessica Parker and her Sex and the City pals have also helped fuel the fanatical obsession with footwear. After all, shoes are Carrie Bradshaw's number one vice. A few seasons back viewers watched her clop around Manhattan in a pair of Dr. Scholl's wooden slip-ons (previously seen on the feet of your neighborhood flower child in the seventies), and the shoes received a huge resurgence in popularity. Parker even designed a shoe for Nike last spring, and had the profits from her hot pink Presto mesh trainers donated to her favorite charity. If not for the Sex and the City girls, we might not have visions of Manolos dancing in our heads. Bette Midler once said, "Give a girl correct footwear and she can conquer the world." Perhaps this is why we can justify purchasing three pairs of nearly identical black boots - they'll get us where we need to go, and heck, they'll go with everything.
THIN Obsessed with Thin: Has the Media Gone Too Far? By Hilary Rowland"The media create this wonderful illusion-but the amount of airbrushing that goes into those beauty magazines, the hours of hair and makeup! It's impossible to live up to, because it's not real." - Actress Jennifer Aniston for Vanity Fair, May 2001 These days, it seems as though not only during the summer months, but year-round, the newsstands are displaying magazines of which almost every issue has a thin, beautifully airbrushed swimsuit model on its cover. Your television is showing more and more unhealthily thin actresses. Bones are jutting out and implants are taking the place of real breasts. Most of these supermodels and actresses are so unnaturally thin that they risk infertility, osteoporosis and, ultimately, kidney damage. Jennifer Aniston's former trainer says "[Jennifer's] new figure did not come from working out with me. She lost body fat (seemingly all of it) by drastically reducing carbs in her diet - a way that's not healthy in my books." This obsession with thinness seems to be a sort of domino effect. One actress looses weight to please the media; next all her co-stars are loosing weight to keep up. Actress Courtney Thorne-Smith (size 4) has said that if she had not been on the [now-defunct] TV show Ally McBeal, she'd have been 5 pounds heavier--but couldn't risk it for fear she'd have looked 'big' next to her size 2 co-stars. "I would run eight miles, go to lunch and order my salad dressing on the side. I was always tired and hungry." says Courtney. Meanwhile, her famously thin co-star at the time, Calista Flockhart, preached the benifits of spinning (vigorous workouts on stationary bikes). "At first it hurts your butt, but you become addicted to it like a maniac." says Calista, who, incidentally, is size 2, 5'6", and 100lbs. Does anyone ever think about how the overload of these images in the media affects the averagewoman? Well, for most women it doesn't exactly have a positive effect. In fact, the idea of the media's (and consequently, everybody else's) "ideal" woman often makes "normal" woman selfconscious -- even if they have nothing to be self-conscious about. There is a definite impact these Hollywood role models have on younger viewers. For most teenagers, the ideal person they want to be is a famous model or actress - and the emphasis is very much on external appearance. Perhaps this is part of the reason that so many teenagers today are unhappy with their appearance and are often on a diet. Judging from what I've seen at the beach, not many men feel the same way. This bad self-image and shyness that many women feel, in most cases, can be directly linked to what they see in fashion magazines, on the runway, and in other forms of the media.
What most women and men don't realize is that every image of a model or actress in a fashion or beauty magazine (or catalog) has been touched-up using the latest computer technology to remove bulges, pimples, stretch marks, etc. Elizabeth Hurley even admitted that her breasts were electronically enlarged for the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. "On my last Cosmo cover," she explains, "they added about five inches to my breasts. It's very funny. I have, like, massive knockers. Huge. Absolutely massive." - Elizabeth Hurley for Details magazine Christy Turlington explains to Elle magazine... "Advertising is so manipulative," she says. "There's not one picture in magazines today that's not airbrushed." ... "It's funny," Turlington continues. "When women see pictures of models in fashion magazines and say, 'I can never look like that,' what they don't realize is that no one can look that good without the help of a computer." Beyond that, there are about 100-300 professional photographs taken for each published image you see. They are taken from the absolute best angle in perfect lighting with the clothes pinned just so. And as if that wasn't enough, the models hair and makeup is always professionally done and is constantly touched up by a makeup artist and hair stylist standing by to make sure nothing looks less-than-perfect. "I think women see me on the cover of magazines and think that I never have a pimple or bags under my eyes. You have to realize that's after two hours of hair and makeup, plus retouching. Even I don't wake up looking like Cindy Crawford." - Cindy Crawford According to Prevention magazine, a "healthy weight" for a woman who is 5'9" is 129-169 pounds. An average 5'9" model's weight is somewhere around 110-115 lbs. Cindy Crawford is an example of an exception to the rule: she is a model (although it's not very often that you see her--or anyone her size--anymore), and yet she's not stick-thin. Cindy Crawfod has lots of muscle--and it looks good. She is the kind of woman more magazines need to have on their covers and in their editorials. She projects strength and beauty. "I am not the skinniest model," says Cindy. "But I have had success as a model, so I feel more confident putting on a bathing suit and standing in front of a camera. In life, I have all the insecurities anyone has. It's a clichĂŠ, but we're our own worst critics." ~ "I finally realised that I don't have to have an A-plus perfect body, and now I'm happy with the way I am." - Drew Barrymore
DANGEROUS FASHION By Noa Glouberman A friend recently told me about a "trip" she took to Spain. Making her way down the narrow steps of an elegant Barcelona restaurant one night, she lost her footing and landed wrong-side-up, flashing her red thong to a crowd rivaling that of a sold-out bull fight. The culprits: her three-inch platform heels. The fall required twenty stitches in her forehead and ongoing physiotherapy. And even though my friend still grimaces when she recounts the episode, she hasn't sworn heels off yet. Over the course of history, extreme fashion has often dictated unhealthy – if not downright dangerous – practices. The Chinese tradition of binding the feet of infant girls to ensure they remained petite and demure, for example, caused excruciating pain and disfigurement, as did tightly laced corsets in the 19th century, which could inhibit breathing to the point of causing some women to faint. High heels may be the most glaring example of a treacherous fashion trend, but they certainly don't stand alone. Platforms, oversized earrings and body art all present potential peril. Here are some of our favorite – and most risky – moments in fashion history. Of Corset Matters Though commonly associated with the Victorian upper class, corsets originated in the 16th century and, by the 19th, had become a hallmark of fashion for nearly all females. Practically compulsory for women of aristocratic birth, corsets were also adopted by working women aspiring toward similar ideals of fashion. Many doctors warned women of the dangers of lacing corsets too tight; some simply advised not wearing one at all. An 1874 rant lists 97 diseases produced by corsets "according to the testimony of eminent medical men." The alleged symptoms ranged from impaired breathing and circulation to heightened hysteria and melancholy to the inability to breast-feed properly and the danger of miscarriage or deformed offspring. Though the most drastic claims against corsets have never been proven, they did contribute to a variety of milder ailments, including shallow breathing, shortness of breath, atrophied back muscles and potential difficulty in labor. The heaving bosoms and fainting tendencies of many heroines of Victorian literature were more likely caused by insufficient oxygen and upper-diaphragm breathing than by arousal in the embraces of mustached lovers. So, what happened to the corset? In 1960, DuPont introduced Lycra to the manufacturing process, making whalebone or metal-framed corsets obsolete, and transforming the corset proper into the girdle. Then the 70s (and bra-burning feminists) brought cries for less restrictive, more natural feminine fashions. But the corset never completely vanished (fetishists aside). Rather, some anthropologists say the tools for achieving the feminine ideal seem simply to have changed and, perhaps become internalized through the concepts of diet, exercise and plastic surgery.
Crinoline Crises The crinoline made its first appearance in the 1840s. With its excessively large skirt, the crinoline made women's waists appear comparatively small and, as a result, allowed for corsets to be loosened. Considering the low comfort-level of the corset, this could be considered a good thing. But crinolines were lined with bands or braids of horsehair ("crin" is French for horsehair) and hemmed with straw. Worse than the rashes women must have suffered from wearing crinolines, was the fact that they easily caught fire from candles, grates and carelessly tossed cigarettes. Some Historians say the improvement in crinolines came with the 1856 patent of the "Cage Americaine" crinoline â€“ a cage-like frame of steel and/or whalebone hoops, often measuring 10 yards around. Crinolines became nearly obsolete in the late 1860s, when bustles replaced them. Truthfully, the bustle was just another form of the crinoline, but with the rows of whalebone running only from the sides round the back, grossly accentuating a woman's derriere and making it extremely awkward to maneuver. In 1887, a Lillie Langtry lent her name to a bustle with springs, which folded up when a lady sat down. It was even said to spring back to its normal position when she rose again! Lead Astray In the late 16th century, the paler your skin was, the better. Tanned skin meant a life of hard labor working outdoors. The aristocracy, therefore, went to extremes to achieve a porcelainwhite complexion. Among the various powders and ointments used to create pallor, the most popular was ceruse, a mixture of white lead and vinegar, which was applied to the face, neck and bosom. Once the ideal shade was achieved, delicate blue lines were added to imitate veins and add to the general effect of the delicacy of the skin. Unfortunately, the lead in the white base would poison the wearer slowly, causing skin lesions, rotting teeth, hair loss and, eventually, death. The use of poisonous makeup continued into the 17th century, when beauty was seen as fleeting. The effects of these products on the skin, coupled with poor health and hygiene, often meant a woman was thought past her prime at 20 and old at 30. Wig Out By the mid 18th century, powdered wigs were a part of daily life, and they became excessive in both height and decoration. The lack of general hygiene at the time, however, meant the wigs often became infested with lice and even mice, resulting in the necessity for scratching sticks.
Plaster Disaster English footballer David Beckham has ignited many fashion crazes among his admirers. But, while previous Beckham-fuelled trends have mainly resulted in overly groomed men, his latest fashion statement actually threatened permanent physical damage to some gullible youth. When Beckham damaged a bone in his foot and was forced to cover the area in a hard white substance know as plaster, young fans started going crazy over the new footwear. Some doctors feared children would actually try to break bones in order to be more like their hero. Falling for Footwear In the late 90s, shoes with brick-sized soles â€“ some measuring as much as 8 inches high â€“ were all the rage. Women who fell for this fashion believed the towering shoes made them seem taller, their legs longer and their faces smaller. Walking in these stilts proved quite the chore; besides their precarious heights, the shoes weighed two to three times as much as normal footwear. Needless to say, they posed an extra burden to the legs and made for unsteady footing. Reports filed by consumer centers and hospitals in Japan said, of the 203 accidents involving women's shoes reported from April 1994 to March 1999, 80 were caused by thick-soled shoes (that's almost 40%). And, in August 1999, a 25-year-old Japanese woman died from a skull suffered when she fell in her new platform sandals. As for treacherously tall stilettos, even Manolo Blahnik knows peril when he sees it. The infamous shoemaker is said to have removed a pair of razor-sharp 3-inch stilettos from production because they could have been dangerous. The titanium-heels were as thin as the ink tube in a ball point and could have cut through carpet. Split Decision We should all be weary of a dangerous new trend, last popular in the 1980s: incredibly long earrings. Lauren, a 32-year-old dancer from Toronto, Ontario, painfully remembers her highschool obsession with the dangling dangers: "I had these ridiculously long earrings on, and when I went to brush my hair away from my face, my rings caught the earrings and tore them out of my ears! My earlobes split in half and I had to have them surgically repaired." Making Eyes Vanity contact lenses resembling cat and reptile eyes are now available on the Internet without a prescription. Some sites, like www.sporteyes.com, only sell "fire" and "wolf" eyes to customers with a doctor's prescription, but others will sell lenses to anyone with a credit card. Eyes specialists say people need to be aware that contact lenses should only be used under a doctor's care. Some doctors even report patients who have bought colored contact lenses over the counter, slept with them in their eyes overnight and developed sight-threatening infections on the surface of their corneas.
Toe Jam Toe-shortening procedures â€“ another potentially dangerous trend â€“ are being sought among some fashion-conscious women who wish to wear stylish, pointy-toed shoes. But doctors who advice against the surgery say people who get the procedure in their 30s may very well suffer the consequences in their 60s. Face Value A new trend worrying doctors and social services is facial tattoos. Spotted on everyone from teens to gang members to boxer Mike Tyson, the tattoos may prevent people from finding work and, in some cases, be hazardous to their health. Besides the fact many employers won't hire someone with facial bright orange or purple hair, let alone an inked-up face, there's also a risk that facial tattoos will harm veins that go straight to the brain. It's also a question of sense. Are teenagers who run out and get the same tattoo their favorite rapper has tattooed across their foreheads really thinking 20 years down the line? Will they really want a tattoo in the middle of their face when they're 40? And, for those who say they'll simply get the tattoo removed when they tire of it, dermatologists warn your skin is never the same after harsh laser removal. Hair Die In 2004, a Katherine Keith of Cape Coral sued Procter & Gamble, claiming the manufacturing giant's Clairol Natural Instincts hair dye (in a chestnut shade) caused her a long list of medical problems, including hair loss, a burning scalp, swelling, a rapid heartbeat, vomiting, back pain, decreased nerve sensitivity, eye inflammation, motor and sensory changes, depression, and post traumatic anxiety. The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org), a watchdog organization that examines consumer products, recently issued a report entitled "Skin Deep," analyzing hair dyes and other cosmetics for hazardous chemicals. The products were rated on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the most dangerous. One shade of Clairol Natural Instincts (Level 2, Sahara 02) got the worst rating of all hair dyes analyzed with a score of 10. The report found many hair dyes contain carcinogens (known to cause cancer), chemicals with "harmful impurities" and chemicals that haven't been subjected to enough study by the industry. Chemical Spill Another potentially dangerous source of toxins is your wardrobe. Synthetic leather or waterproof clothes, as well as those labeled "easy care" or "easy iron," contain many harmful chemicals, and permanent-press clothing is a source of formaldehyde. These fabrics release toxic fumes throughout their lifetime. The most widely used solvent in dry-cleaning, percholroethylene or "perc," remains in clothing and can contaminate your home and body. Perc, known to attack the central nervous system, can lead to headaches, nausea, dizziness and reproductive problems. The International Agency for Research in Cancer (www.iarc.fr) classifies perc as a "probable human carcinogen," and it's already known to cause cancer in animals.
Piercing Pain To be fair, not all piercings are dangerous. If you get them done by a qualified person in a hygienic place and keep your new piercing clean, you're unlikely to encounter any problems. The dangerous part of this trend, however, involves people who pierce themselves and their friends. In fact, over 100,000 teens worldwide are estimated to mutilate their own bodies or a friend's with piercings annually! Piercing your own or a friend's body may not only cause incredible pain and suffering, it could also damage blood vessels or even cause paralysis (the ear, for example, contains vital nerves which, if penetrated can cause paralysis). Skin Deep OK, maybe this doesn't strike you as particularly dangerous, but it can cause just as much damage as the others. (Personally, I feel this is the most dangerous trend, as it can harm you mentally and emotionally â€“ damage that's hard to undo.) Showing too much skin can draw the wrong attention. Now, it's certainly not a woman's fault if she's attacked or raped, and it can't be totally blamed on how she chooses to dress, but I think part of what women need to do to protect themselves from violence and abuse is cover up, so as to not draw the wrong kind of attention to themselves. I'm not talking about little tees or short skirts; I'm referring to girls who wear micro minis that expose their butts and boob tubes that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination. If you disagree, consider this: last year, over 500 young women worldwide were murdered on their way back from a night out clubbing. And besides, you'll draw the right kind of attention by being a total package: beauty and brains. So, what's the solution? Go Nude? Nudists argue wearing no clothing at all is the answer, and has many health benefits. In terms of mental health, a 1984 study showed nudist females have higher body concept than non-nudist females. As for physical health, nudists say clothing interrupts and prevents the natural function of the skin, encourages the growth of body-odor organisms, and may cause serious illness; for example, some researchers believe there are direct links between tight pants and infertility in males, and bras and breast cancer in women. Oh, the things we do in the name of fashion...
BEAUTY COVER PAGE
15 Beauty Secrets
15 Beauty Secrets
ON BEAUTY On Beauty Ugly Persists, but Beauty is EverywhereBy Jason Gileno "Die while you're young and still beautiful." -Martha Graham Recently, I was sipping red wine at a kitchen table across from an acutely beautiful young woman, who asked me whom I considered to be "the most beautiful woman ever." I suggested "Angela", the object of anomalous desire played by actress Mena Suvari in the film American Beauty. It was a feeble attempt at humor. I admit it. From that point, our conversation waned and soon after, I found myself in a cab, mumpishly giving the driver directions to my neighborhood. Enclosed in my own sullenness and rankled by rejection, I considered the puerility of the last few minutes of our discourse. Who is the most beautiful women ever... what an inane question! Broad and subjective to be sure, with nothing but indefinite answers. Immaterial... Unoccupied... Cryptic... Conjecture! The cab cut through the darkness, meter climbing with my irascibility not far behind. I stared up at the moon. Full. It hung on the night the way a silver locket might hang on a black satin gown. A memory. A vestige. A picture worthy of an ornate frame. Beauty. "[Beauty is] everywhere. You just have to be open to it." -Alan Ball, author of American BeautyAmerican Beauty, a film whose plot wires are ignited by whirling infatuation, quickly became one of the most popular and controversial films of its time, stupefying critics and moviegoers alike. The film in its entirety being worthy of such acclaim is easily debatable, but the intrigue of the work lies in the through-line of the plot, which from several different perspectives, depicts the desperate want and need to seek and revive moribund beauty, in hope of countervailing the ugliness that man has created for himself in generic western suburbia. And it is true. These are hard-featured times. Ugly are the front pages of our newspapers and oftentimes the hallways of our schools. Ugly are our streets, littered with looks of futility on the faces of the desolate homeless. Ugly are our highways and transit systems with the expressions of frustrated commuters, jockeying their way through the drooling menagerie of the peak-period corps d'armee."At the very core of fashionable society exists a monstrous vulgarity; the habit of judging human beings by standards having no necessary relation to their character. To be found dwelling on this vulgarity, absorbed in it, is like being found watching a suck 'n' fuck movie." -Tom Wolfe
Although ugly persists, beauty is everywhere. However, the general populace seems to be clueless in ways of recognizing it. We are unlettered in that which is true beauty, hampered by hypnotic multi-media imagery, and blinded by sight - our most obtrusive sense. With passivity and unexplored ambivalence we accept ersatz interpretations of beauty, that have been spooned to us by various unnamable sponsors and organizations, each of whom elude blame, because such an attempt to pinpoint one unidentifiable group, (such as the government or the media) would simply be an illustrious example of "scapegoating." We've encased ourselves inside an invisible bubble of ambivalence, robbing ourselves of the beauty that is everywhere, and yet we wonder why, and how we can possibly perceive a looming sadness beneath a beautiful August sun. Or why we are literally outraged while stuck in traffic, although we are in no grave hurry. We have forgotten how to recognize things beautiful. "The origin of art is the simplicity of youth. The origin of beauty is innocence." -Jonas Legoni It is difficult to find an unobjectionable "positive" in the recent Kitchener, Ontario tragedy, where a young father killed his wife and four children before taking his own life. But while local parents were attempting to find their way around the ugliness of the circumjacent terror, fear, and confusion, neighborhood children came forward with an expressive symbol; a reminder that the origin of beauty is innocence: "We made drawings and flowers with real flowers that we taped on," one boy said. "If we put real flowers, it proved that we liked them as our real friends... our best friends." "We fly to beauty as an asylum from the terrors of finite nature." -Ralph Waldo EmersonThe idea of beauty as waggish or whimsical is a delusion because it has far too great an impact to exist without meaning. Beauty has a softening effect, mood altering as any drug and erroneously classified as a "quality" or a "feature". But beauty has far surpassed that. Beauty is as practical as it is abstract, as agitating as it is quiescent and as salacious as it is wholesome. Beauty is the god of its own realm, and beauty is its own emotion. The idea that it exists in the skin, on the surface, or outside of a particular body (human or otherwise), is inaccurate. The expression "beauty is only skin-deep" is bunk. Beauty is dead in the air, and it only begins to exist in the mind. It is our ability to perceive - to discern one image or instance from the next - that allows beauty the digestible element for its sustenance. Beauty is interpretation chiseled down to a fine point, and removing its significance is to kill art in all of its forms.
The 18th Century adage that suggests that beauty lies in the "eye of the beholder" is just as false, as this dictum gives us far too much credit as individuals. The human animal, it seems is flawed. The foible in our genetic make-up is that we somehow allow our perception to be steered by our eyes and controlled and/or manipulated by our compatriots. The very existence of the phenomenon known as "trends" supports this claim. Television's (curiously) popular Who Wants to be a Millionaire, recently usurped by the perverse public preoccupation towards Reality-TV-refuse, such as Survivor and Big Brother, is similar to the full-figured supermodel being forced to make way for the emaciated waif. The individual opinion is unfortunately frail compared to the momentum of the collective. The reluctance of humans to explore their individual tastes; to exclaim, I have discovered something beautiful; to wear potato sack in place of a Gap ensemble; to quietly step through the chaos of a crowd confused by catastrophe, bearing "drawings with real flowers taped on" seldom exists. Such is the true mark of the artisan. Beauty does not lie so much in the eye of the beholder as it does in the collective eye of the society to which that beholder belongs. Indeed, we fly to (what society tells us is) beauty as an asylum from the terrors of finite nature... and we take comfort in its numbers. "GREEN arsenic smeared on an egg-white cloth, Crushed strawberries! Come, let us feast our eyes." -Ezra Pound, L'Art, 1910 Art, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary is "the conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colo(u)rs, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful..." In North America, we do not inject enough merit into the vein of this definition nor do we give our artists the grave consideration they deserve. Certainly, once an artist has proven his or herself, (by attracting the appropriate measure of critical acclaim), we relinquish our vacuous admiration. And sometimes, if an artist achieves enough notoriety, we even aspire to be like them, both in philosophy and dress, (indeed Canadians are an outstanding group of mimics), yet, as is the case with beauty, we don't recognize our artists as artists until someone informs us that they are such. The artist's role in the rediscovery of beauty is tremendously important. The artist is born with both a gift and a curse: the sensibility to recognize the beautiful and the restless need to explore it and display it to its potential. The artist, as portrayed in American Beauty, is a roaming videographer, seeking to discover all things beautiful. His camera filters away (most of) the outside influence, but when he attempts to explain how he has found beauty in a dead and decomposing bird, he is ridiculed and labeled a "freak." As was Beethoven, taunted and disparaged in the streets of Vienna. As was CĂŠzanne when they allegedly attacked his canvasses with umbrellas. As was Picasso, Beckett, Henry Miller, William S. Burroughs, and Canadian film maker David Cronenberg. Our society hesitates to accept any advance in the arts, and our culture is too comfortable in the existing definition of what is beautiful.
Recognizing beauty and defining it are individual tasks. "Beauty resides in proper measure and proper size of parts that fit", said Plato. (Beauty is) "a pleasure arising from outline, color, motion, and grouping", said Emerson. But throughout the years, beauty has found itself victim to a strict paradigm, that being the "concept of beauty. This concept, or what Plato calls "the beautiful itself" provides us with a standard, against which, we may measure objects for their individual quality of beauty. Plato's concept is what we now refer to as idealism. There is an unwritten (yet often spoken) law that shelters, by means of euphemism, those things that exist with parts that don't fit into Plato's category of "proper measure" and "proper form". The paradox? Violate this law and risk being pronounced superficial, dull-witted and socially unpolished; live within it and confine yourself to constructs of beauty that are pre-conceived and ill defined. What came first, "fashionable society" or the concept of idealism? Whatever it was, reactively, our society has developed a need to suppress our predilection towards things beautiful. We might label something as ugly: a dead tree, a unique face or even a portion of our own body. But that element is ugly only because we compare it to what we consider to be "the ideal." And in our culture, the ideal is not only preconceived (by us), but also contrived (by someone else). We don't even allow ourselves the right to define our own ideal. "Society expunges the significance of beauty; the artists bring it back." -Jonas LegoniOnly a few weeks have elapsed since that wine-sipping episode left me contemplating the moon and the omnipresence and significance of beauty. Plato might have summed up the encounter by simply stating that every glass of red wine is merely an imperfect imprint of a single ideal glass. Here Plato speaks idly for the masses; those who need a corporeal archetype to measure themselves against. This is not to deny the existence of the ideal, but to challenge how our culture defines and consequently perceives it. A plea to show appreciation to those who consistently seek, challenge and redefine the ideal. This is how we define our artists and such is the rediscovery of beauty.
SPA FAUX PAS Spa Faux Pas A Guide to Spa Etiquette By Samantha Read So you've decided to reward yourself with some well-deserved pampering at a spa - how jealous we are! - but you're a bit nervous. If you're one of the many people jumping on the indulgence bandwagon, you may be unsure of the correct behavior that's expected while at a spa. While we may not know what etiquette is appropriate for a formal dinner party, we always have the benefit of observation on our side - simply follow the lead of the person next to you! Unfortunately, this isn't possible in a spa, for the treatment rooms are private. Luckily for you, we've prepared a handy guide to spa etiquette to put your mind at ease: 1. The Cardinal Rule: Arrive on Time. This is crucial. Arriving on time or early for your appointment is not only courteous to the facility, but also allows you maximum treatment time. It's win-win! 2. To Disrobe or Not Disrobe - That Is the Question A common concern of many, most spa owners say that as a client you should do whatever makes you feel most comfortable. Generally speaking, you should undress completely for body services, and your therapist will keep your body draped in dry services and only expose the areas to be worked upon. However in wet services such as body scrubs, body wraps and hydrotherapies you will not be draped in order to reap maximum benefits from these services, but swimsuits can be optional. 3. Relax...But Accept When It's Over For Pete's sake relax, that's why you're in the spa! Just remember that unfortunately you're not the spa's only client, and that you will have to leave upon completion of the service within a reasonable amount of time (meaning you can't veg all day in the room no matter how comfortable you are). 4. The Spa is not a Daycare Even though the receptionist sounded so calm and relaxed on the phone, it doesn't mean that she'll be that pleased to watch your children while you unwind. Not only do screaming children (or behaved ones) disrupt other spa goers, it's really just not wise to leave your tykes unattended. Since you're splurging on the spa treatment, why not splurge on a babysitter as well. 5. The Spa is not a Snack Bar Please don't bring food or refreshments with you. How would you like to lay down on the table only to discover a pretzel wedged into your stomach? Save the snacks for after the service.
6. Silence is Golden... Much like in a movie theatre, you'd like to be uninterrupted by annoying cell phones, pagers and loud conversation. Most likely other patrons will too. Remember that you're still in a public place, and you need to share it respectfully with other spa goers. Turn the devices off and use your "indoor voice". 7. ...But Some Talking is OK Ok, so you can be quietly talkative. This isn't a library. If you don't give the therapist feedback as to your comfort and special troubled areas, you may not get the treatment you're after. They're not mind readers; you need to tell them what works and what doesn't! Also be sure to give honest feedback to the owner, receptionist and so on, so that the establishment can make any corrections necessary. They'll appreciate your honesty. 8. Cleanliness IS Godliness, Even In a Spa Ok, so you don't have to "prepare" for your trip to the spa. You don't need to clip your toenails or shave your legs before a pedicure. But just think about how appreciative the esthetician will be if you're freshly showered and clean! It's more enjoyable for them, which really can only translate into more enjoyment for you. It's just logical. 9. Here's a Little Extra, Buy Yourself Something Nice... As in all service-related businesses, it's common practice to reward a satisfying job with a tip. Be sure to check if gratuities are included in the service you're getting and be prepared according to your experience and desire to tip. The rule of thumb in day spas is 10%-15% of the cost of the service, or about $10.00 to $15.00 for a one-hour treatment. Also be sure to remember that gift certificates don't include a tip. Spas usually provide an envelope at the front desk when checking out for you to place the gratuity into it with the therapist's name, so you don't have to worry about carrying cash with you during your treatment. Abiding by these simple rules will maximize your spa experience. Just relax and enjoy!
BOTOX Botox: The Fountain of Eternal Youth? By Kristine Hughes It's everywhere; you can find it at the spa, the doctor's office and even at a party. Those who are middle-aged love it, teenagers make fun of it and now those in there 20's are doing it. Welcome to the Botox-craze, a world no longer confined to soccer moms. The word on Botox is no longer a funny one to those in their '20's. Probably because the experts are saying that receiving Botox treatments in your 20's may prevent wrinkles from forming -- EVER. "I think the idea of Botox is alluring, especially for younger women because getting it done early means wrinkle lines may never form, but I do worry about injecting a poison into the body and the emphasis on plastic surgery at a young age," says Alison Neumer reporter for the RedEye, a division of the Chicago Tribune. Botox is a form of botulism, which is a toxin. It paralyses facial muscles from creating the movements needed to create wrinkles. If someone in there 20's begins Botox treatments the Botox is then a preventative solution, rather then a corrective treatment. Active wrinkles are caused by facial expressions such as smiling, the repetition causes wrinkles to form but if you can stop your smile from causing creases on your face early on, you are delaying the on-set of aging. According to Joseph Cruise from Orange County Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in California, [his website states that] paralysis of the facial muscles over a long period of time can actually cause the muscles to fade away, making the results of Botox permanent. A rep for the Lasting Looks Clinic in Toronto says that more and more younger people are coming in and receiving Botox treatments for preventative aging. But some people have a different view, Dr. Michael Kreidstein a plastic surgeon in Toronto think the 20's are too young to start reaching for the syringe. "I see little interest until the 30's, except occasionally for the treatment of sweaty armpits, (also known as axillary hyperhidrosis.)"
The bottom line is that it may be effective in taking a proactive approach in aging, but it does raise a moral dilemma on how young is to young, and the health concerns that come with today's youth pumping themselves full of toxins for a prolonged period of time. Botox isn't permanent; most clients need to come in every three months to keep away lines. If you start this habit at age 24, and keep on at it that's a lot of maintenance and a lot of toxins to be injecting in your body over time. "Botox in your 20s, breasts implants in your 30s, eye tuck in your 40s--what's left to do by age 80, you know? Botox raises no different questions than any other type of plastic surgery in that regard," says Neumer. But let's face it, no one wants to age. So what alternatives are there for preventing aging without taking such an aggressive approach? For starters, use products that are anti-oxidants such as Vitamin A, C and E. They help block pollutions from affecting the skin. Pollutants are responsible for dulling skin's appearance. Start working out not only for your body, but your skin. Aerobic activity leads to the body's release of sebum, which naturally moisturises this skin. Use a moisturizer and cosmetics that contain an SPF of 15 or higher and eat for healthy skin. Eat power-packed leafy greens and lots of fruits because all experts agree that great skin cannot be without healthy skin.
NO FAT CHICKS No Fat Chicks The Real Reason We're Weight Obsessed By Pegah Aarabi Everyone plays the weight game. There are hundreds of articles on everything from the tendency towards obesity to weight-loss tips, eating disorders, how to dress to look thinner, and so on and so on. The weight issue is a big one in our society and everyone can relate. I myself can remember when I was maybe ten, in that age when how you look starts to matter, and I couldn't wear leggings because my legs were too skinny. Yes too skinny, I was at the other end of the weight spectrum, I was always very thin. That became my identity, I was the skinny girl. But it wasn't easy. I couldn't find clothes to fit and I had to get everything tailored because even a size zero was too big sometimes. I never thought much of it, it was just the way I was, I ate what I wanted but I was just built smaller. As I entered high school I soon realized that my thinness was a commodity, and for the first time I became aware of the reality of weight: size matters and the thinner the better. Rather than reveling in my thinness, in an attempt to not be left out of the weight game, I joined my friends and declared that I was fat. I didn't actually believe it, but I knew that if I told people that I liked the way I looked I would be an instant outcast. Fast-forward to college and things began to change. I never gained the freshman 15 but I did gain the sophomore 10, followed by the junior 5, and the senior 5. Grad school proved to be more fattening, so much so that when it was all said and done I was 35 pounds heavier than when I was 17. I had "ballooned" to a size 10. But just like before, I liked the way I looked. I actually liked being a bit bigger. I liked the way clothes looked on me, even though I was now a size large in many of my favorite stores. But I soon realized, again, that what I thought had nothing to do with it. People began asking me "what happened," and "oh you better be careful, once you go down that road there's no turning back" and of course, my grandmother's: "Oh no, you've let yourself go". I was suddenly the social outcast again, and just like when I was ten and had to avoid leggings, now, bright prints and horizontal stripes were my enemy, or so the magazines told me. I never fully understood the absurdity of it all until I lost just ten pounds â€“ after having my wisdom teeth removed. Suddenly everyone noticed and praised me for the weight loss, as if I'd just achieved something monumental. No one mentioned anything about my new job, or having undergone major dental surgery, it was all about those 10 pounds.
I didn't care, I was just living my life, like I had been since I was a child, sometimes thin, sometimes a bit bigger but I was still the same person. Why couldn't anyone else see this? Author and journalist Terry Poulton answers this question in her book, No Fat Chicks: How Big Business Profits By Making Women Hate Their bodies â€“ And How To Fight Back. Poulton was an established Canadian journalist by 1982, when she was commissioned by a wellknown women's magazine to lose 65 pounds and document her weight loss. She managed to lose the weight in six months but gained it all back only to realize that the problem was much bigger than her. While researching for her book, which was meant to be about her experience as a heavier person in a thin-obsessed society, Poulton came to the conclusion that what was actually going on was a "billion-dollar brainwash". Corporations gain from making women think they are too heavy and set unreasonable standards for them to aim for and fail. Poulton traces the starting point of this mass market strategy to 1967 and a 92 pound model named Twiggy: Since her debut in 1967, when she became the darling of the fashion world and the incongruous ideal of nearly everyone else, her image â€“ and that of her latter-day clones like Kate Moss â€“ has been milked for billions. During the first decade after Twiggy's debut, the annual take from the labyrinthine American anti-fat industry soared to $10 billion, 95 percent of which was spent by women. And in the following decades, that total has quintupled. Could it be that all that dieting, guilt, constant worrying, strategic dressing, and money spent has nothing to do with "health" and "beauty" at all but is all about big corporations making a buck, or billion? Yes, and to prove it Terry cites examples of beauty ideals pre-Twiggy. Arguably one of the most desirable women of all time, and a beauty icon still, Marilyn Monroe was a size 12. Even before her, the beauties of the late 1800's like actress Lillian Russell, who was the most desirable woman of her time, weighed nearly 200 pounds. Clearly if these heavier women were beautiful then, women like them can't possibly all of sudden be considered abhorred, and be discriminated against, without some catalyst to have changed our views. That catalyst is big-business and the only way to fight back, according to Poulton, is for women to accept their bodies as they are.
Poulton makes it clear that she's not endorsing a life of obesity, rather she is bringing attention to the fact that women, thus far, have been driven less by their own concerns over health and more by their roles as consumers. Poulton advises that women break free from what they are told they should look like and only be concerned with what they know is best for them, based on their genes, health concerns, body type and such. It sounds easy but it's a challenge in a society that has one image and one image only to sell. As Poulton explains, in an age of personal responsibility and a "no victims wanted" mentality, her theory of mass conspiracy isn't an easy one to accept. But the facts are undeniable: In the largest such survey to date, nearly 30,000 women stated that they'd rather lose weight than achieve ANY other goal, despite the fact that only 25 percent were overweight and 25 percent were actually underweight. The average weight of models, actresses, and beauty pageant contestants is about 25 percent lower than that of the average American woman. There are now 50 times more women suffering from anorexia and bulimia than are living with AIDS. In a recent survey, 11 percent of respondents said that if genetic predisposition to obesity was identified in their unborn children, they would opt for abortion.What does this mean in the big weight game? That maybe your deep gut feeling that tells you you look good, in spite of some insecurity, is a better bet to listen to than what the media, or anyone else for that matter, tells you. Even if other people don't know that you're the same person at 100 pounds, as you are at 200 pounds, you know it.
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15 TIMELESS PLACES • Map w/ popout boxes?
15 TIMELESS PLACES
NAPA Good Food, Good Friends, and Great Wine A weekend in the Napa Valley By Jennifer Hagan “Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living” – Robert Mondavi, Harvests of Joy In Napa Valley, wine is more than just a beverage to complement your steak tartar or foie gras, much more than a drink to enjoy with friends and a nice Brie cheese. As in the famed wine regions of Italy and France, the wine in Northern California often flows more freely than water and is seen as a fundamental piece of everyday life. A day that goes by, absent of a glass of rich, aged Cab, is like a party without music. Wine is the very heart and soul of Napa: deeply rooted within the network of vines that twist and turn through the deep soils of the valley, like the veins that pulse the blood of life through our bodies. Only a 90-minute drive north of San Francisco, Napa is easily accessible for a weekend getaway. Within minutes of crossing the San Francisco Bay via the Golden Gate Bridge, the dramatic California coastline comes into view. The 101 curves dangerously along the cliffs, giving the driver a clear view of the brilliant blue waters crashing below. Slowly, the scenic drive transports its travelers from the bustle of the city to the calm of the countryside, where rolling hills reach as far as the eye can see, covered from one end to the next in old vines and tiny grapes. As a luxury destination, Napa Valley is home to some of America’s finest inns and resorts, often located in the towns of Yountville and St. Helena, rather than the town of Napa itself. Just minutes off the well-known Silverado Trail, lies Meadowood (www.meadowood.com), a vestige of lavishness and comfort, nestled among acres of green forest. The estate, a member of Relais and Chateaux (www.relaischateaux.com), is home to eighty-five suites, lodges and cottages – providing lodging options for parties of all types.
The Treeline Cottages are the perfect setting for a romantic weekend escape – complete with a full sitting area, two large flat-screen TVs, a King-sized bed covered in pillows that resembles sleeping on a cloud, an oversized window seat for afternoon reading and even a porch to sip your morning coffee. The marbled bathroom has a large bathtub, complete with candles, bath salts and the very best of Molton Brown’s products. After a hot, massaging shower, guests are treated to fluffy white towels, big robes and slippers. As a finishing touch, maid service includes delivery of freshly baked cookies and a calendar of events for the following day. A weekend at Meadowood will indulge your every luxury – a heated lap pool, 9-hole golf course, full-sized gym, daily yoga classes, hiking trails and Jacuzzis – there are very few amenities this resort lacks. Sprawling over the wooded acres, Meadowood has a bit of a camp-like feel, reminiscent of Dirty Dancing, but with none of the tacky family classes and nightly spectacles. Meadowood is the epitome of a luxury retreat, providing 5-star dining, impeccable service and the seclusion and proximity to nature that we so often crave after months of city life. While perfectly plausible and highly tempting, it would be a shame to spend your entire weekend on the grounds of the resort, without exploring the hundreds of wineries that pepper the valley. Given the sheer number of vineyards and the alcoholic content present in wine, it is best to hire a driver to organize your day of wine tasting. Beau Wine Tours (http://www.beauwinetours.com/) provides that very service in both the Napa and Sonoma valleys. Their most popular trip is a private six-hour wine tour, which includes pick-up from your hotel, a picnic lunch and a visit to four wineries. The company, or if you happen to get a very knowledgeable driver (ask for Paul), will work with you to organize a trip to your liking. To get a true feel for all that Napa has to offer, it is best to visit a variety of vineyards, from the bigger, more recognizable names to the tiny hidden gems.
For those interested in venturing a bit off the beaten path, visit Caldwell Vineyard (www.caldwellvineyard.com). The drive alone is worth the trip. Located high up on a ridge in the less well-known Coombsville area, the ride up to Caldwell gives passengers a magnificent view of the entire valley. John Caldwell originally purchased the property for this very reason, planning to build luxury homes on this prime land. But, after the county rejected his real estate ambitions, Caldwell turned to his back-up plan and his passion for wine. With a visit to Chateau Haut Brion in the Hermitage region of France, he took an interest in clonal research and brought cloned varieties of age-old French vines to California. For a truly intimate wine-tasting experience, visitors are seated in a hand-carved dome-shaped cave, built directly into the cliff; a large table is set with glasses, menus, rich cheeses, charcuterie and chocolate from local Napa markets and of course plenty of wine. One of Caldwell’s most interesting labels is “Rocket Science;” Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grapes all perfectly blended within a rocket-shaped bottle. While John Caldwell’s self-proclaimed favorite is the Silver label, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, he is also particularly proud of his Chardonnay. A clone from the Hermitage area of France, Caldwell was advised by his mentor never to use the grape above 10% concentration in any bottle of white. Upon return to the U.S., Caldwell’s first attempt at producing a Chardonnay used the varietal in 100% concentration – resulting in a refreshing and award-winning Chardonnay, with a truly unique taste. In complete contrast to the intimacy of the Caldwell Vineyard is the Regusci Winery (www.regusciwinergy.com) in the Stag’s Leap District. The way up the long drive is spotted with picnic tables perfect for snacking on a sandwich from the nearby deli. Visitors are greeted by the wagging tails of the vineyard dogs (including Trixie, the Corgi). Entering the tasting room, the energy is high, with Bob Marley blasting from the new speakers. The atmosphere is very casual, with groups of people shopping in the store, sipping different reds, tasting the house olive oil and walking around the grounds or relaxing on the benches outside. The Stag’s Leap district is noted for its wines and the rich history of Regusci makes it a particularly interesting stop.
For a boutique vineyard that does absolutely no distribution (wines are only available on site or through private orders) visit Fleury (www.fleurywinery.com). Located within a giant warehouse, the owner, Brian Fleury, seats visitors on leather couches in silken white tents (his wife is an interior decorator), elegantly lit with candles and displays of wine on glass tabletops. Each group of visitors is attended by a member of the staff, who provides tasting of a lengthy wine list, all within view of the oak barrels aging future vintages. Lucky visitors might even get a taste straight from the barrel. Purchasing wines from Fleury (available to ship) will give you a sense of being let in on a little secret – as it is impossible purchase the wine anywhere else. And lastly, a trip to Napa would not be complete without visiting one of the top name wineries, a large estate that boasts ownership by Oscar-winning Director, Francis Ford Coppola, Rubicon (www.rubiconestate.com). While naturally more touristy than most Napa wineries, Rubicon is a gorgeous old estate, home to many fabulous wines, including its most famous, the Rubicon. Visitors will receive a “passport” to the tasting room, where they will be served at a crowded counter, by knowledgeable employees with a passion for the Estate’s wine. A café at the other end of the building allows visitors to taste wines by the glass in a more relaxed setting. To complete the tour, walk around the grounds and don’t miss the upstairs exhibit, which features paraphernalia from Coppola’s many famous films. The Napa Valley is truly a place to enjoy three of life’s most enjoyable things: good food, good friends and great wine. California cuisine is vastly present, as restaurants use the freshest of local ingredients. The locals are all friendly, in good spirits and more than happy to share a glass of wine with you. And Napa reds have all the richness and flavor of a famed Bordeaux, with none of the pretentious attitude and in a much more convenient location. John Caldwell truly summed up the philosophy that makes the California wine country so unique when he said that, “The best wine critic is you – it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, it’s what your palette prefers that matters.” The Napa culture is a true appreciation of wine, beyond taste and texture, but as an elixir of life and vibrancy.
JAMAICA By Hilary Rowland Jamaica - The Island Jamaica. Exciting, provocative, colorful, unpredictable, sometimes downright scary. If you habitually avoid the unexpected and seek the sanctuary of American food chains and a buttoned-down culture, then you're better off in Florida. But if you live for adventure and spicy foods, this could become your favorite tropical getaway. Jamaica's rich history runs the gamut from pirates to plantations, from colonialism and slave revolts to proud independence. Today, the tropical island has become the land of relaxation, reggae and Rasta culture. Tourism now accounts for 45 percent of Jamaica's (reported) foreign income, and we can see why. Thanks to the island's warm, crystal blue water, teeming fish and gorgeous reefs, it is the perfect place to learn how to scuba dive or spend a relaxing day snorkeling. The adventurous can also go 4x4 off-roading through the jungle, take a river rafting trip to spot crocodiles, or hike to a secluded waterfall. If you can dream it up, you can do it here. From water skiing to Sea-Dooing to river tubing and horseback riding; it's all available in Jamaica. The GDP is a strikingly low $2,653 per capita, making it one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean. You might never notice the poverty if, like most vacationers, you travel directly from the airport to your hotel along the northern roads from Montego Bay to Ochos Rios, as this strip is lined with beautifully manicured golf courses and giant international-style resorts. If you want to see the real Jamaica, you can rent a car at the airport for $300 US per week, and take a drive through the tropical mountains of central Jamaica, or tour the densely urbanized Kingston area, the resort-cluttered western coast, or the less travelled lower portion of the island. Be careful, though, driving at night-goats and cattle roam not only the fields but also most of the roads, and it's not uncommon to see animals get hit. Along the way, be sure to stop at some of the many roadside produce stands. The fruit they offer is wonderfully fresh and fragrant; there's a world of difference in the flavour of the bananas and papayas at the supermarket back home and the ones you'll be lucky enough to try here. If you have more of an appetite, you may like to try some of the jerk chicken or goat sold by roadside vendors. It's hot, tender and spicy, served with bread, rolled up in foil.
The Jamaican attitude is the epitome of the laid-back island lifestyle. Bob Marley and reggae rules, while the Rastafarian religion promotes smoking ganja for spiritual purposes. A wise Jamaican told me the wistful story of a village fisherman who was visited one day by a stranger. The stranger told him that he could help him expand his business-that in five years he could have ten boats, and in ten years he could sell his business and retire. He would have to work long and hard to build his fishing business into this empire, but its fruits would be plentiful. The fisherman responded simply, "Why would I want to do that, mon? I fish when I want to, sit around all day, smoke ganja and laugh with my friends. I already feel like I'm retired!" As you may have heard, for all its beauty and sensual pleasures, Jamaica is not the safest spot in the Caribbean. There are about 1200 murders per year here, for a population of only 2.7 million. And, according to Amnesty International, more people are killed by police here (per capita) than anywhere else. Although marijuana and cocaine (two major Jamaican exports) are illegal, a great many people you meet in passing are eager to hook you up with your drug of choice. While most people are friendly and welcoming, it's still advisable not to wander too far off the beaten path. It is not unheard of for tourists to be shot at when they stumble upon a hidden marijuana crop. Growers are in a state of constant warfare with local authorities and the U.S. DEA, which operates here as well. We're anything but shrinking violets, but we got a bit spooked after taking a detour in our rental car down a red dirt road and finding ourselves amid fields of marijuana bordering mansions the likes of which you'd be hard-pressed to match in Palm Beach or Beverly Hills. Despite all the craziness that is Jamaica, it still tops many celebrities' lists for tropical vacation getaways. That's thanks in part to the introduction of the famously hip and exclusive group of Island Outpost resorts. Island Outpost owner Chris Blackwell used to own Island Records (Bob Marley, U2, The Cranberries, etc.), but sold the label to devote his attention to his resorts, which have become a magnet for well-heeled pop prodigies.
CARCASONNE "We rounded a corner and there, on a rise beyond the river, was a vision for which no photograph could have prepared us. We pulled over to the curb and got out of the car to stand and stare." By Wade Rowland I got hooked on travel early in life. And for many years, beginning long before my first passport, it seemed to me that one of the transcendent travel experiences must be to walk the grey stone ramparts of Carcassonne, preferably at night and preferably in the autumn. This notion was firmly lodged in my brain when, as a diffident fourteen-year-old, I discovered the books of one of the most popular travel writers of any era, Richard Halliburton. In his heyday in the 'twenties and 'thirties, Halliburton was a household name in America and one of the most widely-read authors of his time. He had discovered early on that what his audience wanted from him was not culture, not politics and geography but adventure and, above all, the romance of travel. And that is what he gave them. He travelled on a shoestring to the most exotic corners of the globe and when adventure did not present itself, he created it. One example will give you the flavour: broke in Buenos Aires while writing the newspaper series that was to become New Worlds to Conquer he spurned an easy bail-out from his publisher and instead invested his last few dollars in a trained monkey and a broken down hurdy gurdy. Performing in the city's parks and streets earned him: a) a night in jail for by-law infractions; b) a memorable yarn for the newspapers and c) enough money for his passage all the way north to Rio. The unfortunate monkey died on the voyage - not to worry, he milked that story too. Halliburton blew in to Carcassonne late in 1921 on his first trip to Europe as a young Princeton graduate with literary ambitions, and he wrote about it inThe Royal Road to Romance, the first of his five, wildly successful travel books. He was on his way by bicycle and knapsack from Paris to Andorra. The air at the foot of the Pyrenees was sharp and clear... "Late on that glittering November evening I left the modern ville basse on foot, crossed the sevenhundred-year-old bridge over the river that separates the fortress from the modern town, looked up the sharp escarpment, and behold, before my eyes, nine centuries disappeared. I became an anachronism, a twentieth-century American living in eleventh-century France. In one sweep the Middle Ages were revealed. A magical moonlit city of walls and towers and battlements, defiant and impregnable, rose before me... Not a person was to be seen, not a light showed, nor a dog barked as I climbed the path and walked beneath the massively fortified gate, through the double line of enormous walls, into a strange world. Incredibly ancient houses, dark and ghostly, reeled grotesquely along the crazy streets. My footsteps echoed. There was no other sound..." Halliburton spent the night exploring the city and eventually watched the dawn break from the battlements:
"A man appeared in the streets, and then another and another. I knew the hours of enchantment were gone. The ghosts of Crusaders and Saracens and Visigoths, which must have been abroad that night, had marched down the shafts of the ancient wells into the subterranean caverns, to watch over the fabulous treasures which any true native of the citadel will tell you lie buried there. With the night departed Yesterday. The real, unromantic present lived again..." The "real, unromantic present" was where I was, seventy-one years after young Richard had dashed off those breathless lines, and I too was about to see Carcassonne for the first time. My partner Christine beside me, her legs aproned in a large-scale Michelin road map, I was approaching from the north at the wheel of a red, rented Peugeot, purring along undulating roads through the brooding forests of the Black Mountains and then across the flatlands of the River Aude on a narrow, shoulderless highway picketed with two-hundred-year-old plane trees, and finally on through the dusty streets of the modern lower town of Carcassonne. We rounded a corner bracketed by grey stone warehouses and there, on a rise beyond the river, was a vision for which no photograph could have prepared us. We pulled over to the curb and got out of the car to stand and stare. Nowhere in Europe has a fortified medieval city been preserved so perfectly, or on such a scale. Despite the sheer mass of its miles of walls and its sixty towers and barbicans, it seemed to float above the surrounding fields and vineyards, like a mirage. The town site on its rock outcropping overlooking the River Aude has been prized for its strategic importance from ancient times and may have been fortified even before the Romans built the first of the walled citadels there. The final touches to the fantastic, many-towered marvel one sees today were put in place by Saint-Louis and his successor Philip the Bold toward the end of the thirteenth century. It survived virtually intact until the mid-1800's under the protection of the French military and was in the last half of that century completely and brilliantly restored under the inspired direction of architect EugĂŠne-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc. There are naturally quibbles about details of the restoration and refinements are continuously being made. Slate roofs, for instance, are slowly being converted to the more authentic baked clay tile. Still, no one denies that the place looks pretty much as it did eight or nine centuries ago when knighthood was in flower, Crusades were in fashion and the stirrup crossbow was the latest and greatest in military hardware. We had been told that, since we were staying at a hotel within the walls, we would be able to drive our car right inside the citadel, where the hotel had a parking space for us. That sounded reasonable over the telephone from Paris, but when we actually saw the city and its main gate just wide enough to accommodate a pair of mounted knights in armour - we began to have our doubts. We held our breath as I eased the Peugeot into the gap in the eighteen-foot-high outer wall, across the broad lists to the second, much higher wall, under the portcullis of its massivelyfortified gate and then inched our way through the pedestrians thronging the cobbled street inside, which is perhaps ten feet wide from doorknob to doorknob. There were places where neighbours could comfortably have shaken hands across the street from corbelled second stories.
Driving a modern vehicle down these ancient passageways, through the main square with its giant well which provided security from long sieges, past the castle keep to the gargoyleencrusted cathedral next door to our hotel, was like living a page out of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. No wonder Halliburton was drawn here in his search for the romantic. France has arguably more romance per square mile than any other country in Europe, but the pocket of the country for which Carcassonne provides a focal point is the fountainhead of the very notion itself. The literary form we call romance has its roots in the writings of the troubadours who first appeared here in the region known as Languedoc in the eleventh century. Poets and wandering minstrels to a remarkably open and tolerant society, they wrote of freedom and justice and gallantry and of a kind of courtly love that was entirely new to literature. In troubadour castles throughout the south of France - Puivert and Les Baux are among the most famous - women of the nobility established "courts of love" in which they defined suitable subject matter for troubadour songs, maintained the rules of grammar of the native langue d'oc and provided advice for the lovelorn. Their poetry competitions were the talk of the land and the winners were crowned with peacock feathers. From the ninth to the thirteenth century, Languedoc was the social, cultural and political cockpit of France.There was a strong tradition in Languedoc and in the region of Carcassonne in particular, of questioning Christian orthodoxy as represented by a poorly-trained, dissolute and avaricious Catholic clergy. All over Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries groups of the faithful were seeking a return to first principles and a new purity of faith. But it was in Languedoc that the strongest of these movements took root. Known as Catharism (from the Greek katharos: purity), it held that the world of God was the world of the spirit, while the material world, the world of time, was the realm of the Devil. Thus anything to do with the body - eating, drinking, marriage and procreation, material possessions - was inherently evil. Rules of conduct for the priestly class, the white-robed "perfecti" , were drawn from the Christian Gospels and strictly applied: the taking of life was forbidden and the perfecti were strict vegetarians. Fasting was frequent; celibacy was obligatory. Pope Innocent III, alarmed at the spread of what the Church referred to as the Albigensian Heresy (for the town of Albi, where a famous debate between Catholic and Cathar clerics took place), dispatched to the region Dominico Guzman, later St. Dominic and founder of the Dominican order. He undertook his mission of preaching against the heresy with relish but was soon forced to admit failure. He was prophetic in defeat: "I have preached," he lamented, "I have entreated, I have wept...the rod must now do the work of benediction. Towers will be torn down, walls toppled, and ye shall be reduced to bondage. This is how might shall prevail where meekness has failed."
Events came to a head in 1208 when a papal legate was assassinated near Carcassonne. Innocent III seized on this pretext to launch a holy war which became known as the Albigensian Crusade. The pattern for the savagery that was to follow was set on a July day in 1209 in BĂŠziers, where ecclesiastic authorities had identified 200 known Cathars. After a brief resistance the town was taken by storm and 20,000 men, women and children were put to the sword or burned to death, including hundreds who had packed the cathedral seeking sanctuary. "Kill them all," the Crusade's prelate is said to have urged. "God will know his own." Although Carcassonne itself changed hands several times during the Crusade, only once was a siege mounted. Mighty wooden engines that could catapult boulders, rolling siege towers to help storm the walls and other marvels of the military technology of the time were of little use against so well designed a defensive position and the besieging army found its most effective weapon to be mining the walls - tunnelling under them to cause them to collapse. The defenders counter-mined successfully, meeting the invading forces far underground and driving them back before they could complete their destruction. In the quiet of an evening's contemplation close by the walls, one envisions with a shudder the rat-like ferocity of these desperate, clawing struggles in pitch darkness. The heretical beliefs of the Cathars proved remarkably persistent despite the eventual defeat of the last of their military strongholds, and to effect a final solution Pope Gregory IX set up the infamous Inquisition, presided over by the Dominicans. Its ruthlessness is well-known: in Carcassonne there is, in an out-of-the-way alley, a horrifying museum of the implements of torture used by the inquisitors.There are other reminders: the Inquisition Tower, where suspects were "questioned" before being sent to a prison outside the city walls; the Justice Tower, where it is believed the secret archives of the Inquisitors were stored. It is the Inquisition Tower which overlooks the fairy tale garden of one of the most romantic hotels in the world, and one of the friendliest and most accommodating in our experience. HĂ´tel de la CitĂŠ's twenty-three immaculately-detailed rooms are contained within the renovated interior of the old Bishop's palace, next door to the cathedral. One of three small hotels within the citadel walls and unquestionably the best, its public spaces are worth a visit whether or not you stay there. Especially interesting is the breakfast room/bar with its enormous paintings showing Carcassonne as it must have looked at various stages of its history, from neolithic times through its Roman, Visigoth and medieval French incarnations.
We had asked for a room with a double bed when we'd reserved, always a wise precaution unless you prefer the twins that are much more common in French hotels. None was available, but rather than disappoint us, the hotel staff had upgraded us to a corner suite. We could scarcely believe our eyes. Leaded casement windows opened on to the tiny plaza in front of the cathedral and a breeze billowed tapestry-like curtains in the bedroom and sitting rooms. There was a huge, fragrant bouquet in the foyer. The marbled bathroom featured a walk-in shower the size of a horse stall. The furniture was antique and immaculate and there was art on every wall. That night, out of gratitude but against our better financial instincts, we ate in the hotel dining room. Our suspicion that his was not a room for triflers was confirmed by the wine list, which had the heft of a big-city phone book. Entrées were priced to suit the budget of someone who could actually afford the suite we'd been given. We dined more modestly the following evening, in a boÎte called l'Ostal des Troubadours, a tiny Gypsy café on the main square. The tables were cheek-by-jowel but the cassoulet was rich and fragrant, the wine was cheap and, beside us, a small fenestration through three feet of hewn stone looked out onto the castle keep. In a corner of the room, a classically-trained guitarist entertained. We applauded enthusiastically and our appreciation did not go unnoticed; ours was the first table he visited with outstretched hat when his set ended. He was replaced by a boozy singer-guitarist who announced in heavily accented French that he was a purveyor of Irish love ballads, then blithely launched into Leonard Cohen's Sisters of Mercy. In the morning there was a wedding in the cathedral for us to watch from our private lookout onto the square and we were late for service in the hotel breakfast room. The staff cheerfully set a solitary table for us outdoors beside the deserted swimming pool and served us croissants, brioche, boiled eggs, fresh orange juice and café au laît on starched linen and silver. We wore our straw hats against the sun. A scented breeze riffled the dazzling white table cloth. We were starring, fantastically, in our own movie, a romance that Halliburton might have written had he lived long enough to acquire a taste for the more sybaritic pleasures of travel. Poor Richard, instead, died trying to cross the China sea in a leaky junk, on the eve of World War 2. He was on his way to San Francisco, creating another adventure, and he vanished without a trace. He wasn't yet forty. But he'd made that enchanted moment in Carcassonne possible for us, a gift for which I'll always be grateful.
INSPIRATION COVER PAGE
NEW INTERVIEWS • Richard Branson • Blake Mycoskie • Lauren Bush
Deepa Paving Her Own Way - Filmmaker Deepa Mehta By Pegah Aarabi Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta has become an icon in the film industry. One of few filmmakers to gain both international praise and scorn, the Indo-Canadian stays true to her vision, despite the many obstacles that befall her. Born in Amritsar, India, in 1949, Deepa immigrated to Canada in 1973 during a brief marriage to Paul Saltzman, a Canadian filmmaker and producer. She has been open in discussing the fact that she neither fully belonged in India after leaving, nor in Canada where she was always seen as a "visible minority". Deepa, whose father was a film distributor and theater owner, began her film career by making children's films. She moved on to television, as a producer and director. Her films â€“ starting with Sam & Me, to the latter day elements trilogy, which recently reached a conclusion with the highly anticipated final installment, Water â€“ deal with everything from sexuality, racial tension, racism, religion and patriarchy, to politics and forbidden love. As a result, Deepa is no stranger to controversy. At the Indian Film Festival in 1996, where the first installment of the elements trilogy, Fire, premiered male viewers became so enraged and violent that the police had to be called. The film, about sister-inlaws' who turn to each other for a relationship due to their husbands ambivalence, went on to win 14 international awards, but burnings of the theatres showing the film along with protests continued. The second installment in the series, Earth, didn't garner nearly as much controversy, but did manage to push some religious hot-buttons. Based on Bapsi Sidhwa's book Cracking India, the film is set during the tumultuous time in 1947 after the end of British colonial rule and tells the story of a Hindu girl and Muslim boy who fall in love. With all the controversies and successes behind her, in 2000 Deepa set out to make the final installment of the elements trilogy, Water, set in the late 1930's, about three widows in an ashram, a home for widows. Filming began in Varanasi, India. But based on her previous controversial films and the plotline of this one, sets were burned and filming was met with thousands of protesters. While she had permission to shoot the film, because of the unrest, the Indian government declared that law and order was at risk and that filming must be stopped. In 2004 Deepa began filming again, this time in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
HILARY Magazine recently sat down with Deepa to discuss her inspirations for her films, particularly the elements trilogy, and to get her view on all the controversy that has surrounds her. HILARY Magazine: Regarding the titles of all three films in the trilogy, Fire, Earth, and Water, aptly named the elements trilogy, why did you choose elements and particularly these elements? Deepa Mehta: Elements nurture us, and can destroy us. It's their inherent power and their dichotomy that intrigued me: fire for its conflagration, earth for its solidity and water for its fluidity. Deepa Mehta, center, with the cast of WaterHILARY Magazine: What inspired these three films? Deepa Mehta: Politics. Fire deals with the politics of sexuality, Earth with the politics of the sectarian war, and Water with the politics of religion. HILARY Magazine: You have chosen to take on the most controversial topics, religion, sexuality, politics, and patriarchy, issues that some filmmakers shy away from, what made you want to tackle these issues and what kept you motivated to deal with the obstacles that ensued because you tackled these issues? Deepa Mehta: Curiosity is what motivates me generally, curiosity about the oppression of women in particular. Obstacles are inherent in every film one makes. It's the nature of the business. How to make them as least effective as possible depends, I guess, on how passionately one feels about the subject.
HILARY Magazine: Following up on the previous question, how were you able to overcome all the obstacles that you endured while trying to make Water, after initially trying to shoot back in 2000, facing the set burnings and protests, and with the re-shoot in 2004? Deepa Mehta: I believed in and was committed to the script of Water. That helped enormously in dealing with the cacophony that ensued when we were filming 5 years ago. The shut-down hurt, bewildered and angered [me] initially, but it dissipated by the time we resurrected the film. HILARY Magazine: Politics is the backdrop in Water, as well as in Earth, and is a catalyst for the stories of both films, what made you want to use politics in you films in this way? Deepa Mehta: Politics are imposed upon people. In a sense the policies of politics can manipulate us without us even being aware of being used thus. HILARY Magazine: In Water and Earth why did you choose to bring the story into focus using a child and particularly in Water, what inspired the character of Chuyia? Deepa Mehta: Chuyia, the child widow is the voice of innocence, an uncorrupted voice and eye who says it as she sees it. HILARY Magazine: In Water there seems to be a conflict between purity and impurity, what should be pure, like childhood, love, even the river, are all tainted by the impurities of some, why did you want to bring attention to this conflict? Deepa Mehta: Conflict seems to be an essential essence of our lives. Without it and its resolution growth is an impossibility.
HILARY Magazine: The patriarchal society is criticized in Water, Earth and Fire, what made you want to bring to light the fallacies and harsh realities of this type of society despite the fact that in most parts of the world, and arguably all parts of the world, the patriarchal society is still considered to be the norm? Deepa Mehta: I believe in equality of the genders. Top heavy patriarchy (for that matter even matriarchy) leads to an uneven playing-field. HILARY Magazine: The struggle of women and their treatment due to religious doctrines is clear in Water, while this film is set in the 1930's the reality is that women all over the world are still treated inhumanely because of literal and politically favorable interpretations of religious doctrines. Similarly the issues in Earth, of religious differences, exist today, is there a reason why you didn't choose to place these films in present time? Deepa Mehta: Earth is about a very particular time in Indian History, the division of India into Pakistan and India. Its Historical context is imperative to the plot of the film. Water too is set in a period when child marriages were not so uncommon. Also, the rise of nationalism via Gandhi was important [because] Gandhi felt strongly that India's social fabric had to change. HILARY Magazine: The issues in Water and the preceding films transcend all nationalities, although clearly part of their success is that they take viewers into the Indian culture; do you think in the future you will tackle similar issues within other cultures, perhaps in a Canadian setting? Deepa Mehta: They say, that the more specific a film is, the more universal it becomes. I am happy that Water has appealed to as many people as it has. HILARY Magazine: Are you currently working on any upcoming films, and if so can you tell us a little bit about them? Deepa Mehta: Toying with a few ideas. Let's see which of them rises to the surface!
Meredith Meredith Etherington-Smith By Randy Bryan Bigham Journalist and promoter MEREDITH ETHERINGTON-SMITH gives HILARY Magazine the goods on Beaton, Marilyn, Diana, and the glorious happenstance of her 40 year career at the center of London's design world. The editor-in-chief of the venerable Christie's magazine, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art, chairman of the innovative program Art Fortnight London, author of The Persistence of Memory: A Biography of Dali, journalist and sometimes actress, Meredith Etherington-Smith is busy reshaping (and shaking up) the London art scene. Meredith grew up in Kent, studied at the Royal College of Art and has since edited and contributed to almost every major publication in the world, from the New York Times Magazine, Town & Country, GQ, Art Review, andWomen's Wear Daily to French Vogue and Harper's & Queen. Many are also familiar with her recent foray into reality television with 'The Dinner Party Inspectors', but Meredith, now 59, first made her mark nearly 40 years ago as one of the happening breed of young journalists responsible for changing the way fashion was reported and featured. She's profiled everyone from Andy Warhol to Ella Fitzgerald, helped launch the careers of Bruce Weber, John Galliano and Joanna Lumley, and befriended the likes of Princess Diana and Karl Lagerfeld. Over tea in the garden of her house in South Kensington, she talks to HILARY Magazine about her career and how it might never have happened. HILARY Magazine: What's the importance of personality when it comes to success? Obviously you know fashion, you know art. But how much of your success has been due to personality? You have a posh accent and a commanding voice, so... Meredith: That's 50 years of smoking, I'm afraid. Well, 45 years! I have a rather old fashioned voice. I go into department stores and ask for something and people think I'm an actress because you don't hear this kind of voice very much anymore. HILARY Magazine: It's beautiful. Meredith: Well, it's sort of fun for some people. Not all. HILARY Magazine: But it gives an air of chic. Meredith: No, I think I get hired because I actually know what I'm doing. I've described myself as a graduate of the "1960s hemline school of journalism." I've been doing what I do, adding bits and pieces on, since I became a fashion editor at the end of the '60s. The only editor who has a longer fashion memory than I have is probably Susie Menkes at the Trib. So we've been around a long time and that's rather reassuring for people in a way. I've always been incredibly lucky because I've never actually gone after anything. People have always sort of said "Wouldn't you like to do this or wouldn't you like to do that?" I've never really applied for a job.
HILARY Magazine: That's what I mean by personality. You obviously have confidence in the way you present yourself. Meredith: Right! In a t-shirt and ripped jeans! HILARY Magazine: So beyond the posh voice and aristocratic name, there's nothing traditional about Meredith the editor! Meredith: Well, I used to see all the other fashion editors at the couture shows in Paris, wearing their little white gloves. I met Carmel Snow and Mrs. Vreeland and their set. But that was never for me. I was a 60s kind of a babe. HILARY Magazine: More Marianne Faithfull than Jackie O? Meredith: Yup! HILARY Magazine: Just a hippie chick from Kent! Then how did it all start for you? Meredith: It all started for me in 1962 when I walked into a second-hand shop and bought a wonderful 1924 black beaded Chanel evening dress. Nobody was doing vintage in those days but I loved that old dress, and I left a trail of beads wherever I went! But that began my love of fashion and fashion history, particularly the Deco period of the 20s and 30s. HILARY Magazine: The fashion world is notoriously unsympathetic to women who are more than a size 2! Have you experienced that discrimination? Meredith: Well, I used to be slimmer than I am now. But, yes, I think it has probably cost me a few jobs. HILARY Magazine: After working as a fashion editor for several London newspapers and magazines, you went to America where you were the first woman editor of GQ Magazine? Meredith: The only one I think. HILARY Magazine: What was the experience like? Meredith: It was fun. The publishers of Esquire, who owned GQ then, said "We want you." I said, "Excuse me? I live in London." They said "So what?" So I went and did it for a year and had quite a time. As you know, all editors in New York are spoiled, so it was great fun! HILARY Magazine: It must have been fun, surrounded by pretty boy models. Meredith: No, that's not for me. HILARY Magazine: While at GQ you assigned Bruce Weber his first fashion shoot? Meredith: I did. I think that was in 1973.
HILARY Magazine: I understand that later on you gave another legendary photographer his very last assignment. Meredith: That was Sir Cecil Beaton. He was very old and was suffering from paralysis by then, but he wanted to work and he still had that wonderful touch. I was London editor of French Vogue at that time –– this was in 1979 –– and we were doing a sort of punk rock theme. He loved it, and the pictures were fantastic. But he died shortly after that, so it was sad. HILARY Magazine: What was he like to work with? Meredith: He was inspiring, but definitely a man of his generation. In Beaton's day, actually snapping the picture was thought to be beneath a society photographer, so he always had an assistant whom he'd call to when he was ready. The man working for Beaton when I knew him was named Lee, but he kept calling him Arthur. After he had set up a shot, Beaton would yell, "Take the picture, Arthur." We learned later that Arthur was the name of his first assistant many moons ago, and that he'd called all his protégés that since! HILARY Magazine: You have worked with and made friends with some of the greats of the fashion and design worlds. Tell about Karl Lagerfeld, with whom you worked on the documentary 'The Story of Fashion'? Meredith: I haven't seen him in a while but he's brilliant, of course. I have enormous respect for the man. He knows so much and misses nothing. He adores fashion history, as I do, and you can see that in his own dress and art collection. He reminds me of the Victorian couturier Jacques Doucet, who amassed a huge collection of 18th century art. HILARY Magazine: And Anouska Hempel? Meredith: She's a style Nazi! HILARY Magazine: Leaving no stone undesigned! Meredith: Quite literally, actually. Do you know that she once had her employees paint faux veins into rocks to match a rare marble at her summer house? She has so much energy, and a nose for what's next, that one. I did three big articles on her that I'm proud of. HILARY Magazine: Galliano? Meredith: He's great. I wrote the very first article on Galliano when I was deputy editor of Harper's & Queen in the 80s. HILARY Magazine: What do you think of other top fashion editors –– like Colin McDowell of The Sunday Times? Meredith: Oh, he's extraordinary, with a tremendous knowledge and understanding of contemporary as well as historic fashion. HILARY Magazine: Hamish Bowles of American Vogue? Meredith: He's a true lover of fashion, very passionate about it and really lives it. I first met him at H&Q, where he was just starting out as a fashion editor.
HILARY Magazine: Who are your favorite designers today? Meredith: Nicolas Ghesquiere at Balenciaga, whose clothes are absolutely beautiful. I'm a fan of Alber Elbaz at Lanvin; his work is perfection. And I will always be crazy about Christian La Croix. No one can do what he does. HILARY Magazine: How closely did you work with the late Princess of Wales during your planning of the 1997 Christie's auction of her gowns? Meredith: I met with Princess Diana once a week during the preparation of the show and then during the auction phase. HILARY Magazine: You also got to know her well personally but unlike some of her friends, you haven't exploited that. Meredith: No, I won't be divulging secrets. But you can ask me questions and if I can answer them, I will. HILARY Magazine: What stands out about her in your memory that might surprise the public? Meredith: Her sense of humor. She was hysterically funny. I was astonished at how wonderfully, naturally funny she was. HILARY Magazine: When did you see her last? Meredith: I saw Diana last at a party she gave for my family at Kensington Palace. I was to have had lunch with her on the Tuesday after her accident. HILARY Magazine: What will you remember most about her? Meredith: Her laugh. HILARY Magazine: You also organized the high-profile 1999 Christie's auction of Marilyn Monroe's dresses. What did you learn about the star while preparing that show? Meredith: That she was tiny. The famous "Happy Birthday Mr. President" dress that everyone assumed was a large-size, was not. Although Marilyn looked fleshy in that gown, her frame was actually very small. The dress was so iconic, we knew we had to display it prominently, and it was my idea to have it suspended in space in that dramatic way. HILARY Magazine: The Marilyn auction was televised live around the world, giving you wide exposure as a commentator. What was that like? Meredith: It went wrong, as live TV always does. My co-host and I were not supposed to talk so much. The show was to be intercut with clips from Marilyn's movies. But that didn't happen, and we were left to ad-lib because we had no script to help us. HILARY Magazine: Speaking of broadcasting, did you know that you were up for the cameo that Mariella Frostrup was given in the last season of 'Absolutely Fabulous?' Meredith: Me? No, I had no idea.
HILARY Magazine: According to a source close to Joanna Lumley, you and Mariella were recommended for the part of a "chic journalist commentator type." Meredith: I know Jo. We grew up together in Kent. She's one of the few people around who know my nickname from those days, which is not for print! And I edited Jo's first big mag spread when she was modeling for Jean Muir. HILARY Magazine: Well, Mariella got the part supposedly because she ran into Jennifer Saunders at a party. Meredith: That's one that got away! HILARY Magazine: Would you consider a walk-on if there's another season of 'AbFab' and you're asked? Meredith: Of course! I'm a ham. HILARY Magazine: The fashion world has been galvanized behind the cause of breast cancer research. You know first hand about that, being a breast cancer survivor yourself. Meredith: Yes. HILARY Magazine: You were diagnosed with breast cancer about a decade ago, right? Meredith: Yes. You know, regular worries don't matter anymore when you realize you might otherwise be pushing up daisies. My attitude to life changed immediately. Now I don't let normal stresses worry me. If I get a nasty email, I don't worry about it! HILARY Magazine: You've made your name in fashion but have now you've gone back to your roots in art. Meredith: Well, I like what Lorelei Lee's maid says in 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes'... "Always leave them while you're looking good." HILARY Magazine: Are you where you envisioned yourself? Meredith: I never thought about where I'd end up. When I went into journalism, the only jobs for women were as fashion editors, so that's where I had to go. I still love fashion but I have made my way into other areas now. HILARY Magazine: But are you where you want to be? What will you do next? Meredith: I'm happy with my life but I don't know where I'm going from here. And I don't want to. That's half the fun â€“â€“ not knowing. I will do what I'm doing till I'm not able to do it. HILARY Magazine: Meredith, there's another saying in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: "Fate keeps on happening." Meredith: I like that one, too!
DATING & SEX COVER PAGE
15 DATING TIPS
15 DATING TIPS
Janis Spindel NY's Dating Queen The Exclusive Janis Spindel Interview Her name has graced the likes of all the major media brands: The New York Times, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, Forbes Magazine and she has appeared on the CBS Early Show and Fox News, just to name a few. Her services are rendered by the who's who list of socialites, celebrities and, mostly, those with millions in the bank. No, she isn't a top-tier trainer, plastic surgeon or lawyer. She's a professional matchmaker.HILARY Magazine talked with Janis Spindel about what she does, how she does it and why. We met her at her kitschy Upper East Side home office in New York, where casually attired in jeans and a pink cable knit sweater (with matching pink Chuck Taylor's), she gave us the lowdown on her profession as New York City's (and the rest of the upper east coast) professional cupid. "I have definitely been gifted with some kind of a sixth sense" and with that in tow, she "gets people married." Sitting in her apartment, amidst the mismatched cushions, doilies, and couches covered in crocheted throws, I--for one moment--think that I might actually be in my poor grandmothers living room. All that's missing are the date tarts. I peek into her bedroom (the door is open) and see more piles of clutter and distinctly unfashionable clothing. Could this really be the self-described "Cupid in a Chanel suit"? I put my tape recorder on her pine coffee table and ask her how she got started in this business of matchmaking. She tells me that, after watching all fourteen of her pre-professional matches get engaged, then married, she realized that she could make a lucrative living out of her ability to get the right two people together. A former executive in the fashion industry, she founded Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking in 1993 and today, is the reason for over nine-hundred matches and over threehundred married couples. Her database runs into the thousands. She meets people everywhere she goes; her work never stops. Whether she's getting a manicure, shopping or on vacation, she isn't shy about approaching the beautiful people. Well, the few that make her cut. And what about the not-sobeautiful? "I tell it like it is." She routinely tells her clients if she thinks they need nose jobs, face lifts, Botox... well, you get the idea. According to Janis, the men out there have their lists set in stone. In an already superficial world, these men have their future lady chosen down to preferred eye color, hair color and weight. No ifs, ands or buts about it. "I can't tell you how many women say they are in great shape- and they're not. 7 out of 10 women say they're in great shape and they get up from the chair and I go WHOA - I mean, what planet are they on? Just because you work out three times a week does not mean you're in great shape. I mean, come on! My clients want thin women. That's basically the word that is non-negotiable. Mandatory." says Janis
Her client list is 95 to 96% men. "I don't want to take women on" deadpans Janis, "unless they are very, very easy. If she's a knockout and I know I can fix her up fast, I'll take her on." The women she approaches are to keep in her database with the possibility that she can set them up with one of her [male] clients. On the rare occasion when she does accept a female client, she's daringly critical and extremely specific. When she meets someone for the first time, she knows whether or not she can take them on. However, it's when she finds the jewels to her crown that her work is cut out for her -- "I don't really have to be working for them if I can already think of someone in the first five minutes of meeting them." "I had someone who was phenomenal and I fixed a client up with her. He said 'Boy, she's great. Find me someone just like that but with green eyes.'" In the business of "getting people married," Janis takes the whole process very seriously. "I have to size [these women] up. It's superficial and shallow, but it is what it is. Men want very pretty women who are thin who take care of themselves. If that's not what I'm up against then I'm not going to have anything to do with that person. When men tell me what they want it's nonnegotiable; I don't substitute." For this, she charges women $500 to meet with her for 30 minutes at a coffee shop. During this meeting she tells them if they need to lose weight or get surgery, and if she is interested in putting the woman in her database for potential set-ups with her wealthy male clients.Wealthy, high-profile men will pay her at a minimum "$60,000 [US] for twelve introductions in a year" she says. "Some clients pay me on a monthly retainer with very large marriage bonuses and travel expenses." Taking her clients' privacy to the maximum concern, she doesn't divulge any personal information about who hires her services. Understandable, given that she works with public figures, [minor] celebrities and high-profile individuals. But you can't help wondering who her clients are.
For Janis to get to know the personalities and inner workings of her clients, she spends a significant amount time with them: lunches, dinners, parties and even vacations. "Men have to set up simulated dates with me. It's 'how did the whole scenario go?'. Did they send a car to pick me up, did they drop me off--you know, little things like that. I have to critique them. I had a client in Boston that I saw a minimum of three times a week. He needed a lot of help." Says Janis: They aren't looking for fun dates, they're looking for a wife. "I say 'jump' and [the men] say 'how high?'" Not only does she have a knack for getting couples to say "I do," she also has a knack for getting men to do what she tells them to do. For the rest of the female population, it's difficult and seemingly impossible to get a guy to shave off his coveted beard or moustache, especially if he's been sporting one for decades. For Janis however, it's as simple as saying it to their face. "I said 'You look like a geek. Shave it off. I haven't seen a goatee since college!' and he went into the bathroom and shaved it off right there." says Janis. If she tells one of her clients to lose five pounds, he'll go out and lose twenty. And when she tells a man to shave off his "trademark" moustache, he shaves it. No ifs, ands or buts about it. New York City is the land of successful, attractive and intelligent men and women. With a population soaring high in the millions and a menagerie of singletons with countless places to go, it's a puzzling notion that matchmaking has become the new, red-hot way to get yourself down that aisle. But the question remains to be asked: Why can't people get a date? Is it the notime-for-anything-but-my-career mentality? Is it laziness or just bad timing? Who knows... but I guess in some cases money can buy love. Or something like it.
Keep Him Calling Ways to Keep Him Calling How to make a lasting impression By Samantha Read It's easy to make a good first impression on a date, but now that you're in the relationship, how do you remain the girl he just can't get off his mind? Try these suggestions and you'll be floating around his head all day long. Be a Busy Bee Seriously, nothing says "get away from me" like a gal with no outside commitments. Mention your Saturday morning hiking club, how you volunteer at the food bank, and your weekly outings with the girls. Not only will you show him you have spunk and love variety in life, it'll also create a little extra desirability. After all, you'll have to squeeze him into you busy schedule. Is it Hot in Here? Nope, Just Me On a date, wear something that you feel über-hot in, like a cute little pair of lacy boy-cuts under your jeans. Even if you stay clothed the entire night, you'll know they're there and that extra boost of sexy confidence will definitely be passed on to your date. Just a little something to leave with him until the next meeting. Kissy Kissy Knock his socks off with an incredible kiss goodnight. Go with what works for you – a light and soft appetizer smooch or a full-blown dessert snog – and you're guaranteed a starring role in his dreams all night. Gee You Smell Terrific Wear a subtle scent. The key here is subtle. When he pulls you close, a little hint of you will remain on his collar and he'll be reminded of you long after you part. Unless, of course, you douse yourself in perfume. Then he'll be reminded of you even after several loads of laundry. So take it easy. Wear the Pants Rather than waiting for him to call and suggest a typical dinner-and-a-movie, suggest something different. Like line dancing at the local community centre. He'll be amazed by your creativity, and your sense of adventure. And heck, creative dates are more fun anyway. He'll remember the great time you had, and appreciate that you suggested it. Inflate the Ego This is an obvious one. Compliment him on what he's wearing and how good he looks, lightly brush against his shoulder as you walk by, make lots of eye contact and smoldering looks. Knowing that a smokin' sister wants him will make him want you even more. Stay in Touch Forget about playing hard to get, you're a modern woman! Take charge of the relationship and let him know that you're thinking about him. Think about how good it feels when someone calls just to say hello, or writes you an email just to say they miss you. Now, don't go overboard with this (i.e stalking), because bombarding someone with text messages and phone calls will not produce the desired effect. Just play it cool, and you'll put a little extra spring in his step.
Seven Tips for Preventing Infidelity Head it off before it's too late... By Shirley P. Glass All relationships go throught their ups-and-downs; the important thing is that we don't let our 'downs' become disasterous. Here are a few tips to smooth the ride. 1.Maintain appropriate walls and windows. Keep the windows open at home. Put up privacy walls with others who could threaten your marriage. 2.Recognize that work can be a danger zone. Don't lunch alone or take coffee breaks with the same person all the time. When you travel with a co-worker, meet in public rooms, not in a room with a bed. 3.Avoid emotional intimacy with attractive alternatives to your committed relationship. Resist the desire to rescue an unhappy soul who pours his or her heart out to you. 4.Protect your marriage by discussing relationship issues at home. If you do need to talk to someone else about your marriage, be sure that person is a friend of the marriage. If the friend disparages marriage, respond with something positive about your own relationship. 5.Keep old flames from reigniting. If a former lover is coming to the class reunion, invite your partner to come along. If you value your marriage, think twice about having lunch with an old flame. 6.Don't go over the line when you're on-line with Internet friends.Discuss your online friendships with your partner and show him/her your e-mail if he/she is interested. Invite your partner to join in your correspondence so your Internet friend won't get any wrong ideas. Don't exchange sexual fantasies online. 7.Make sure your social network is supportive of your marriage.Surround yourself with friends who are happily married and who don't believe in fooling around.
MAIL ORDER BRIDES Mail Order Brides American FantasiesBy Tresanna Hassanally Anastasia Solovieva was hoping for a better life in America. She moved to Washington State at the age of 18. She was a mail order bride. The attractive Kyrgyzstan teenager was matched with Idle King Jr., a man more than twice her age and far from the picture of attraction. More Danny Devito than Brad Pitt, he was more deadly than their cruelest characters. Anastasia was Idle's second mail order bride. His first wife had gotten a restraining order against him, testifying in court that he had beaten her regularly. Anastasia was in the dark. She had never been told about Idle's past. Nor was she aware that King was already allegedly shopping for his third bride. And she definitely didn't know what was in store for her. Just two years after their September 2000 marriage, at the age of 20, Anastasia was dead and her husband stood accused of her murder. She had been strangled and buried in a junkyard. Idle King Jr. was convicted in the murder of his wife and jailed for 29 years in 2002. The murder of an attractive young woman, in her prime, often works as a catalyst to an improvement in society. This case was no different. Responding to the murder, two Washington state politicians introduced a bill into the House and Senate seeking greater protection for the women who come to the United States in search of love and a better life. The business of international marriage is booming. There are around 300 introduction agencies that operate in the U.S. alone, and 4000 to 6000 "fiancĂŠes" arrive annually in American airports. Worldwide, clients can peruse the information of some 150,000 would-be brides on the Internet or in the pages of monthly catalogs. Although many women are enticed with image of wealthy American men and a better life in the U.S., some women use the services to gain citizenship in the U.S. and then seek to get out of their marriages. The grooms are generally from North America (USA) and Western Europe, while most brides are Eastern European, Asian or South American. The process is fairly straight-forward. The men choose a number of women from photographs and brief bios that include a few superficial statistics like their age, height and weight. The prospects addresses are then sold to the seekers and a series of letter exchanges then occurs; in the Philippines the process is known as "pen-palling." The men will then visit the women and propose to the one he likes the best.
Some agencies are more hands-on. Encounters International's owner Natasha Spivack plays matchmaker to her clients, making her service more personal. For ten years Spivack has been matching American men with Russian women and her website boasts that she will find you a wife in a year or else her services will be free of charge--which may not be a bad thing, since EI's services start at $1,850. EI boasts of a 95% success rate. Spivack says "I guarantee the success to all my male clients provided that they are serious, motivated, positive and patient about the entire process. She describes her male clients as "35-50 years, educated, successful and open minded." She says that the men who seek to get a mail order bride are generally white, politically conservative and successful, both professionally and economically. A general perception seems to be that mail order brides are more submissive partners. A study by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service concludes, "The foreign woman is happy to be the homemaker and asks for nothing more than husband, home and family." A CBS news report after the announcement of the new legislation said the Chance for Love matchmaking service website stated this: "The Russian woman has not been exposed to the world of rampant feminism that asserts its rights in America. She is the weaker gender and knows it." No studies have been done to track abuse in these marriages, but women's groups are convinced that the problem is growing. Issues like language barriers and ignorance of their rights may play a role in women not seeking help in the appropriate places. Immigration advocates and women's groups are hoping the proposed bill can stop the problem before it begins. Legislation would have men go through security checks; right now only women are subject to checks before they can move to the U.S. Under the new bill, male clients would also have to answer questions about their marital history--and disclose any past abuse. While all of this may be coming a little too late for Anastasia Solovieva, the hope remains that another life can be saved. Despite her misfortune, many successful marriages have been, and will continue to be, arranged through international marriage brokers. After all, marriage, whether arranged or based on true love, is always a gamble.
SPEED DATING About Speed Dating: Pros and Cons By Hilary Rowland Here's how it works: When you enter the venue you are given a paper that has 25 blank lines and one 'Yes' and one 'No' box next to each. You are also given a name tag with your name and your assigned number. When the dating begins you sit down and either stay sitting or move from table to table (follow the numbers on the tables). After each 'date' you record the person's assigned number on one of the blank lines and tick either 'Yes' or 'No' (to signify whether you'd like to exchange emails). There is one break (like an intermission) half way through for drinks or the washroom. Pretty much all of the services gave the same stats as far as average success rates go: About 80% of people have at least one match. The average person checks six YES boxes (for people they would like to see again.) Of that six, about three match up, with the other person also checking YES. Here's a quick summary of the pros and cons of speed dating: Pros If you don't have a way to meet potential dates, this is a great way to get a very quick overview of 20 or so people who are also looking for a relationship. You can ask pretty much whatever you want right away. If you don't like the answers, you don't have to waste any more time talking to the person. In comparison, with Internet dating a person's whole identity (not to mention their sex!) could be completely false or fabricated. With speed dating at least you pretty much know that their motives are sincere (not to mention that yes, they are in fact male or female.) Cons It can be superficial, as the way someone looks and dresses is a big part of what you'll have to go on since you're not going to get an idea of the person's morals or character in a few minutes of small talk. You (or they) may check 'No' to the nicest person there, as a good talker and dresser would have more success at these events than someone who may be a bit shy but has integrity. Speed Dating: With a Vengeance By Hilary Rowland Wondering if you want to try speed dating because it's fun, fast and... um, economical? Here's a crash course to give you a head-start. For research, (oh, the things we journalists have to do in the name of research...) I attended three funfilled speed dating events. Also in the name of research, I chose three different persona's for the three different events: British Airways Stewardess, Professional Chef, and International Fashion Model. I was curious to see if these men were really serious about meeting an intelligent woman for a serious relationship. For the first event I told the men that I was a stewardess and was away for a lot of the time and therefore not looking for anything serious. As a professional chef, I showed my best sophisticated and educated face, and, as a fashion model, I was uncomplicated and bubbly. Let's see what the men preferred...
Speed Dating: With a Vengeance By Hilary Rowland Wondering if you want to try speed dating because it's fun, fast and... um, economical? Here's a crash course to give you a head-start. For research, (oh, the things we journalists have to do in the name of research...) I attended three funfilled speed dating events. Also in the name of research, I chose three different persona's for the three different events: British Airways Stewardess, Professional Chef, and International Fashion Model. I was curious to see if these men were really serious about meeting an intelligent woman for a serious relationship. For the first event I told the men that I was a stewardess and was away for a lot of the time and therefore not looking for anything serious. As a professional chef, I showed my best sophisticated and educated face, and, as a fashion model, I was uncomplicated and bubbly. Let's see what the men preferred...
Speed Dating Event #1 The Event: 25 Dates - age category 25-35 The Venue: Held at a funky lounge/restaurant called Gypsy Co-op (Toronto) The Persona: British Airways StewardessPreparation I started by putting on eyeliner to create the "cat's eyes" you see stewardesses sporting in so many movies. Then I tried to create that "big hair" look but eventually gave up as my super fine hair was just not being agreeable and opted for a high curly ponytail. Lastly, I put on my WonderBra and a tight blue cleavage-bearing top over which I put a matching tiny (but thankfully still covering) shirt. Both were a light blue embroidered floral pattern. I slipped on my jean skirt and knee-high boots, grabbed my orange Kate Spade bag and was ready to go. The Schtick "I work for an airline. Yeah, I'm a stewardess... But I mostly work in first class. Mostly businessmen but sometimes I see a celebrity - that's pretty exciting. Ummm...I served Johnny Depp once. Yeah, he was sweet... he wanted extra warm cookies. I fly between here and London mostly. Yeah, I've traveled all over the world. It's not bad. Kinda tiring." The Talent Although this event was held at a downtown venue, 90% of the guys who attended lived at least 45 minutes outside the city. Why they wanted to attend an event downtown, I do not know. Since I live right downtown and do not have (or have ever needed) a car, that would immediately discount all but a couple of the guys as I wouldn't be able to get back and forth to the suburbs easily enough. At least two of the guys who were over thirty admitted that they still lived with their parents. Five or more of the guys seemed to be under five feet tall and another five were rapidly balding. Not exactly top-notch specimens if you're looking for a sexy guy to go on a few spontaneous dates with. Believable? The first three minute date I went on, the guy didn't seem to believe me. As soon as I told him I was a stewardess his face contorted into that of a serious skeptic. Maybe he'd seen that episode of Sex and the City - or maybe I was just paranoid. It got easier from there on in. It did feel a bit weird fibbing but I figured I wouldn't have checked 'yes' for any of these guys anyway so they weren't really missing out on anything. At least they had something to tell their friends because by the sound of it I had the most interesting fake job there. Things ran smoothly after the first guy until I hit guy number 12 who informed me that his sister is also a flight attendant and that he had worked in a managerial position at an airline for four years. I thought I'd been caught for sure (apparently no one in the know has called them stewardesses for a couple of decades) but he seemed not to care whether I was fibbing or not and continued his line of questioning without incident. He even came up to me at break to see if I'd "had any luck" or "checked any YES's yet". No and no. Thanks for asking.
The Verdict Definitely suburbia hits downtown. Not even close to being worth the $45. Dates: 25 YES responses (from them): 15 / 60% Interest (from me): 0 - I didn't meet anyone I'd want to spend a couple of hours on a date with. Results: 11 of the 15 people emailed within the first two days. Summary: I got fifteen responses as a stewardess - the average for these events is six YES's being checked before the matching is done, and three final matches. So at fifteen I'm doing pretty well! Especially since I live so far from everyone, which must have been a deterrent to some. Looks like the stewardess persona was a hit.
Speed Dating Event #2 The Event: Simple Date - age category 28-38 The Venue: Held at a fun pub called The Madison Avenue Pub (trivia: this pub sells more beer than anywhere else in Canada!) The Persona: Professional ChefPreparation Not much preparation needed for this one. Fairly natural makeup and hair down but straight (basically wash and go.) I wore my Diesel jeans and a plain fitted white collared shirt that was cropped at the waist. Overtop, I wore a funky Chanel-type blazer. Simple and elegant but with a touch of personality. The Schtick "I'm a sous-chef at Truffles. A sous-chef. No - SOUS. I'm an assistant chef. The restaurant at the Four Seasons. I work there on weekends and I work at Canoe for weekday lunches. No, I don't really have a specialty - I try to mix it up so I keep learning. About eight years if you count training. At the CIA in New York. Culinary Institute of America. No, it's about three hours by train from Manhattan. Yeah, it's a lot of fun." The Talent First, I'll say not great in the looks department, but we'll keep an open mind anyway. At least most of the guys were from Toronto this time. There were a few out-of-towners (again, why bother, guys?) but on the whole most were from around Eglinton or Sheppard (about 20-30 min from downtown.) Things were going okay, despite the fact that everyone except for one guy (a doctor!) worked in the computer software or finance industry, until the halfway break whistle when everyone stood up I noticed that half of the men I just talked to were about a foot shorter than me! Believable? I didn't stumble upon any problems until my 'date' with a guy who'd managed a restaurant for four years. I bluffed my way though the conversation (yeah, I wish I had a set of Sabatiers, too) and made it through the five minutes unscathed. The only other road bump came when my next 'date' just happened to have also attended the last speed dating event I went to (hmmm...) I tried to talk about my flights to London as little as possible for fear that someone would overhear and it would blow my cover. At the end of that endless five minutes, if anyone overheard they didn't say anything, so I didn't worry about it.
The Verdict Better than the last event but not a great selection in terms of looks or career. Was it worth the $20.? Let's put it this way - if it wouldn't have been unethical, I would have split at the first break. Dates: 20 YES responses (from them): 11 / 55% Interest (from me): 0 - The two guys who seemed like potential date material (the cute blonde guy and the doctor) both lived in the middle of nowhere so the transportation issue arose again. Results: 9 of the 11 people emailed within the first two days. Summary: Not bad - especially since the men were older and some may have thought I was too young for them... or maybe I'm just rationalizing about the nine who ticked 'No'. One thing I didn't like is that they made the women switch seats after every date instead of the men. In my humble opinion, the men should be the ones moving because the women have purses, skirts, etc. Not to mention that the men could order food because they stayed at one table and the women couldn't!
Speed Dating Event #3 The Event: 25 Dates - age category 20-27 The Venue: 134 Restaurant Bar (Richmond & Peter St, Toronto) The Persona: International Fashion ModelPreparation First, I expertly applied my makeup, including black eyeliner and a small amount of golden creamy glittery eyeshadow. Next, I flattened my hair with a straightening iron and left it down. Lastly, I slipped on my Joe's Jeans super-cool jean skirt, a black top, a skinny black belt, a black bag and black boots and I'm ready to go. The Schtick "Um... I model. Like in commercials and magazines. Uh, yeah. It's okay... not really something I want to do forever though. Sure - Paris, Milan, Tokyo. I just got back from London. Yeah, it has its perks I guess. Um, maybe the Pepsi commercial I did. It's on the air right now. What do you do?" The Talent As soon as I walked in I noticed a difference. First, the venue was much nicer than any of the others. Secondly, since it is an upscale restaurant and also because it's a younger age category I think it attracted different people - guys who weren't desperate but rather came with friends to check it out, meet people and have fun. There were plenty of good-looking guys with cool jobs, including a firefighter, a cop, a university professor with a doctorate, a business journalist working for a very major newspaper, and the owner of a massage clinic (score!) Believable? A couple of the guys were like "Um, what do you mean 'Model'? What kind of model?" which, at times, made me wonder if I was actually capable of pulling off this new persona. I ran into a few snags throughout the night. The first came when two of the people were guys that I had seen at other events (which meant that I had already told them about a different persona - but I couldn't remember which one!) I managed to keep cool and talk a little more quietly with them. Thankfully, I don't think anyone overheard me talking about my trips to London as a flight attendant. The next snag came when a cute guy in a green soccer jersey sat down in front of me and immediately said, "Didn't you go on a couple of dates with my roommate?" Um, okay. I can handle this. Only problem is that he came with three friends! And I already had my 'date' with one of them. Tricky. So I told him the truth. It's easier that way... keeping track of all these personas was starting to get confusing anyway! The last snag hit when I met a business reporter who just happened to work for a newspaper that I had been profiled in. And he told me this after I told him I was a model. Yikes! Damage control! I had no choice but to let yet another unsuspecting victim in on my little secret.
The Verdict Great event with much better results. If you have it, worth the $45. I had a fun time chatting with people who I felt were much more my peers then the men at the other events. I didn't get nearly as tired by the end. This came as a surprise to me because I usually enjoy socializing with older people, however the guys at this event seemed to be on the ball with good careers and an optimistic outlook on life. Dates: 20 plus two I had seen at one of the previous events. YES responses (from them): 18 / 90% Interest (from me): I would consider seeing three or four of the guys again. There were certainly quite a few good-looking guys at this event - including a few who also had pretty interesting jobs. Results: 14 of the 18 people emailed within the first two days. Summary: Great event and great results - maybe this had something to do with the fact that it was a younger crowd. Also, my fashion model persona was a huge hit (I wonder why?) It's hard to say why this event was so much better than the others, but if I had to wager on another event, I would go for a younger crowd and choose the venue carefully.
Speed Dating in London, England A Guy's Perspective By Matt Myerton Basically my older brother roped me into it. I initially thought "You must be mad!", "No bloody way!", "Out of your mind!" Five minutes later I reluctantly submitted. What the hell! At the very least it will be an interesting and entertaining night and, if I'm lucky, I may meet someone I really like. I used to be a Special Events Manager and, in typical fashion (being a little nervous), I scouted the venue the night before (Thai Square in Trafalgar Square, London.) I was pleasantly surprised to find it was very stylish but still relaxed with lots of little nooks and crannies to have quiet chats in. On the day of the even my heart was thumping when I left to meet my brother for a stiff drink in the pub next door--then another at the venue, while we both sat surveying the floor. I could see my brother going "No, no, no, no, no, hmmm maybe...." in his head - he's a very fussy bugger! I have to say though, that at first glance I was a little disappointed in the women. I notice a lot of body language, how people stand, walk, smile, etc. and, to be honest, the crowd looked a bit dull. Mind you, a lot of the men looked very boring too, all in dark suits straight from work... yawn yawn. We both signed up and then instantly realized that we had consecutive numbers.... what if we were sat right next to each other? Dating the same girls straight after one another!? What a nightmare! The brother's double act! Arrrrghhhhh! What if they noticed and started comparing us and asking questions? We're both pretty independent and like to be taken on our own merits so you can imagine the scene. We quickly formulated a back-up plan! We'd been chatting to a nice looking guy and decided that should we be sat together, one of us would swap paces with him.... no problemo! We actually sat on opposite walls. A little word of advice--don't sign up together! The boys had the advantage of sitting down while the girls moved around, so we could watch as they approached, see what they were wearing, how confident they were, etc. (It also meant that they were sometimes standing there waiting to talk to you while the last girl got ready to switch seats - an instant false ego boost!) I have to say that it was much easier than I anticipated. We had both sat down worried that we may instantly make up our mind "absolutely no way!" and then have to talk to the girl for an agonizing three more minutes! But in reality, the time was either just right or was way too short. It sometimes felt like all I'd said was "Hi how are you?" before "RIGHT. TIMES UP. MOVE ON TO THE NEXT TABLE." "What--already!?" All the girls were really easy to talk to, and I'm pretty chatty anyway. None were boring, although none of them particularly wow-ed me. Three minutes was often too short to decide if I fancied them too, so I ticked people if I found them interesting enough for a second drink. After all, first impressions are important, but they can be wrong. I even got along so well with two of the women that I told them instantly that I was ticking them--a bit cheeky, but that's me!
RESULTS: Out of 30 girls, I ticked 9 and got 7 matches. Out of the 7 that matched, two girls that I had gotten along with really well (who I told I was choosing them) ticked me, but then never replied to my emails!? (They had consecutive numbers--19 and 20. Hmmmmm.) Another two who I had earmarked as friends never really got further than a couple of emails... not much surprise there. Two others didn't reply initially, but when pressed, one said she decided the speed dating lark wasn't for her, but we could meet as friends. I never heard from her again. The other who I was quite keen on started seeing her ex again. There are still seeing each other, but we are still in contact--by email only--I still have not managed to extract her phone number from her. And finally the one successful date that did reply and I have seen several times since, has become a good friend. We've kind of decided that we're not quite right for each other although we get on very well. So there you have it. Not the most successful, but not the worst either. (My brother only ticked four and got one match who did not reply. Fussy bastard!)
LIBIDO Increase Your Libido From Mother Nature's Medicine Chest: 4 Keys to Finding Your Lost Libido By Marianne Brandon As pharmaceutical companies continue their quest for the perfect synthetic aphrodisiac, more and more people are experimenting with natural alternatives to enhance their sexual experiences. Much of their interest has focused on herbs, though some cultures prize animal parts for their suspected aphrodisiac powers. (Tragically, this pursuit has contributed to the near extinction of several animal species -- including the black rhinoceros, whose horn is believed to enhance sexual prowess.) Plants in general are a rich source of compounds that can after our physiological and psychological states. In fact, an estimated 60 percent of conventional medications come from plants. And that's after scientific study of just a relative fraction of the world's plant population. Realistically, then, many more herbs than the ones presented here may possess potent aphrodisiac powers. They just haven't been discovered yet. A number of our clients at the Sexual Wellness Center have tried herbs to improve their libidos, with excellent results. But as we always remind them, herbs are medicines. Like conventional pharmaceuticals, they can cause serious side effects if they are not used according to directions or if they're taken with preexisting medical conditions such as hypertension. In addition, the herbal industry -- like the supplement industry -- isn't subject to FDA regulation. This means the quality, safety, and effectiveness of herbal products is not guaranteed. As we mentioned in our discussion of DHEA in chapter 7, what is on the label is not necessarily what is in the bottle. And DHEA, which is synthesized, is much easier to control than herbal preparations, which are grown. The potency and quality of an herbal preparation depends on the same variables that affect all crops, such as rain, sun, temperature, and soil conditions. As an analogy, consider wine. Some years, the weather cooperates and the grapes grow well, so the wine is full-bodied and robust. Other years, too much rain, or not enough, takes a toll on the grape crop, producing a thin and not especially tasty vintage. Herbs are just as vulnerable to environmental factors, if not more so. Keep in mind, too, that we do not intend for this section to be an authoritative text on herbal aphrodisiacs. Dozens, if not hundreds, of herbs can claim prosexual properties. We have chosen to recommend only a handful at the Sexual Wellness Center, because they have been scientifically studied, their side effects are well-known, and they are widely available. As you'll see, we've not included specific dosage information here. Your best bet is to consult a qualified herbalist or a physician who specializes in herbal medicine, who can recommend an appropriate dosage for you.
Yohimbe: A Proven "Love Potion" Manzambi and her husband, Remmy, moved from their native Zaire to the United States 7 years ago. At first, they lived with Remmy's brother and his family in a cramped, dark Brooklyn apartment. Remmy worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week driving a cab. It certainly was not paradise, but it was a much safer place to raise their daughter than in their war-torn country. Like generations of immigrants before them, Manzambi and Remmy stayed in New York for a few years to get acclimated to the wonders and fast-paced life of their new country. Then they moved to Cleveland, where another relative had settled some years before. There Manzambi made many friends, who openly admired the relationship between Manzambi and her husband. While their husbands often went out to bars after work, Remmy headed straight home and showered affection on his wife. Her new friends wanted the same type of relationship with their husbands that Manzambi had with Remmy. So they asked her advice. "The secret," she told them, "is to keep your man happy in bed." She continued. "Every night we drink a tea that we have sent from back home in Africa. The tea causes a pleasant fire in my vagina, and Remmy can make love like a man 15 years younger. Good sex keeps my husband home." A traditional herbal remedy in West Africa, yohimbe has a centuries-old reputation for its libidoenhancing properties. The herb, which comes from the bark of the corynanthe yohimbe tree, plays a role in tribal fertility celebrations, marriage ceremonies, and mating rituals. Spurred by yohimbe's effects, some of these ceremonies involve sexual activity that may go on for days, or even weeks. Since the late 1930s, researchers have been studying yohimbe to substantiate the prosexual claims for the herb. No less than 30 scientific articles have shown that the active ingredient in yohimbe, the alkaloid yohimbine, increases blood flow to the genitals and stimulates the central nervous system as well as the nerves of the genitals. Together, these physical changes set the stage for sexual arousal. Researchers at Valparaiso University in Indiana confirmed that yohimbine increases the frequency of sexual activity and heightens sexual arousal. In fact, the FDA already has approved the compound as a treatment for erectile dysfunction in men. Further studies have shown that yohimbine can counteract the negative sexual side effects of the widely prescribed SSRI antidepressants. As yohimbine works to stimulate the nervous system, it can enhance blood flow, metabolism, and alertness. On the downside, it can raise blood pressure and heart rate and cause heart palpitations, restlessness, and insomnia. For these reasons, we do not recommend yohimbe or yohimbine for anyone with a history of coronary artery disease, stroke, heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure, migraines, panic attacks, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. Even if you don't have one of these conditions, we advise trying yohimbe only after a thorough physical exam. You have several options for using yohimbe. You can brew yohimbe bark to make a tea -- we suggest adding honey to mellow the slightly bitter taste -- or buy the powdered form in capsules. Yohimbine also is available as a concentrated tincture.
Damiana: Fights Low Libido On Many Fronts Damiana is a wild shrub that grows in parts of Mexico, Central and South America, and the West Indies. Recently, it has been cultivated in Texas and California. Its botanical name, Turnera diffusa aphrodisiaca, hints at its reputation as a libido-enhancing plant. The ancient Mayans used damiana for its prosexual properties. And for centuries, Mexican women have been brewing tea from the plant's leaves to improve their sexual satisfaction. Though much less studied than yohimbe, damiana has been the subject of some research that's worth discussing here. In one trial, researchers gave a damiana extract to impotent or sexually sluggish male rats, which showed marked improvement in their sexual activity. In another, an herbal preparation called ArginMax for Women -- which combines damiana with other reputed sex-enhancing herbs -- boosted sexual desire, reduced vaginal dryness, increased the frequency of sexual intercourse and the frequency and intensity of orgasm, and improved clitoral sensation in women who took it. In fact, almost three-quarters of the women in the study showed positive changes in these sexual variables, compared with only slightly more than one-third of the women who took a placebo. The results are all the more significant because they come from a double-blind placebocontrolled study, considered the gold standard in clinical research. Damiana leaves can be brewed as a tea or taken in powdered form in capsules. You also can buy Damiana Liqueur, a light herbal-based liqueur that is made from damiana grown in Baja California. It comes in a bottle with the shape of a pregnant woman, modeled after the Incan goddess of fertility. According to Mexican folklore, the very first Margarita was made with Damiana Liqueur. The Damiana Margarita remains popular in the Los Cabos area of Mexico. Ginkgo: Slowly But Surely, It Works Chinese culture is rich in the study and use of aphrodisiacs and sex-enhancing herbs. For centuries, the Chinese people have relied on the nuts and leaves of the ginkgo tree to help improve their sexual vigor, as well as their mental acuity. Though limited, recent scientific research suggests that ginkgo may benefit sexual function by increasing blood flow. Two separate studies involving men with erectile dysfunction found that the herb helps to restore erections without side effects. In a study involving women, a preparation of ginkgo mixed with other herbs improved orgasms and overall sexual satisfaction. Most herbalists agree that the effects of ginkgo are gradual. A woman who's taking ginkgo may notice increased genital sensation and more vivid orgasms, along with sharper memory, over a period of several months. Ginkgo can be found in most health food stores in extract form or as a powder in capsules.
Ginseng: Good For Mind And Body Perhaps the best known of the Chinese herbs is ginseng. It has been used in Asia for more than 5,000 years to boost energy and alertness. It also is known for improving sexual response, increasing sexual energy, and reviving libido. There are three different types of ginseng: Asian, or "red," ginseng (Panax ginseng); American, or "white," ginseng (Panax quinquefolius); and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). The herb is considered an adaptogen. In other words, it helps restore normal function to the human body by increasing all-around resistance to stress. Ginseng contains ginsenosides, compounds that stimulate the hypothalamus to invigorate sex drive. It also acts locally on the vagina and clitoris to increase genital blood flow, which enhances lubrication, sensation, and arousal. In randomized placebo-controlled trials, Asian ginseng has improved sexual response in men with erectile dysfunction. And in combination with ginkgo and damiana, ginseng appears to boost sexual arousal and overall sexual satisfaction. Look for ginseng in tincture, capsule, or tablet form. Some health food stores even carry soft drinks made with the herb. Buyer Beware Before concluding our discussion of herbal aphrodisiacs, we must mention Avlimil, an herbal formula that is aggressively marketed on radio and TV. The ads cleverly compare Avlimil with Viagra by saying that women now have their own "little blue pill," just as men do. They also urge potential customers to ask their doctors about Avlimil, which implies that the supplement is available only by prescription and, therefore, has been approved by the FDA. Unfortunately, neither is the case. As an herbal supplement, Avlimil is not regulated by the FDA. And if it has been studied, the research has yet to appear in any peer-reviewed medical journal. Avlimil contains a blend of sage, red raspberry leaf, kudzu root, red clover, capsicum pepper, licorice root, bayberry fruit, damiana, valerian root, ginger, and black cohosh. Though damiana may have aphrodisiac properties, there is no evidence that the combination of herbs enhances desire, arousal, or orgasm, as the manufacturers claim. And it's very expensive -- $55 for a 30day supply!
GREEN COVER PAGE
15 WAYS TO SAVE THE WORLD
15 WAYS TO SAVE THE WORLD
NEW GREEN ARTICLE
NEW GREEN ARTICLE
ECO TOURISM Ecotourism: The hip way to travel has gone eco By Noa Glouberman The world's largest industry – tourism – means big business. Every hour of every day, millions of people board planes, trains and boats and set off for distant, exotic places. Unfortunately, this large number of travelers – and the money spent ensuring their comfort and pleasure – has a huge impact on nature and the people who live in vacationing hotspots. Many tourism developments and practices, working in the interest of making money, undermine habitats and landscapes, deplete natural resources, and generate waste and pollution. So, what's the solution? How do we see the rest of the world without wrecking it? Many say the solution is simple: ecotourism. The International Tourism Society defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well being of local people." But, are current ecotourism developments always the responsible alternative? Think about the building of roads, parking lots and hotels in national parks to accommodate more travelers who want to observe nature in its pristine form - if it seems ironic to you, you're right. And this is just one example of questionable ecotourism development happening all over the world. Despite criticism, truly responsible ecotourism does seem to have the potential to support conservation and communities. This is why certain environmental organizations are developing responsible tourism practices at a number of different levels, like evaluating the environmental impact, or "ecological footprint" of a holiday. The World Wildlife Fund's Holiday Footprinting tool (www.footprintnetwork.org) estimates the environmental impact of a particular holiday by examining individual components (flights, waste, food consumption) and suggesting scenarios for impact reduction. Although Footprinting and other, similar, practices will help ensure ecotourism is responsible tourism, the future of the industry ultimately depends on travelers who support responsible tourism. HILARY's twelve tips can help you become, and stay, a truly responsible global traveler. HILARY's Twelve Tips for Ecotravelers Do your homework. The International Ecotourism Society (www.ecotourism.org) can help you find a responsible ecotourism company. For example, Green Globe (www.greenglobe21.com) is a worldwide certification program designed to help tourists discover their impact on local environment and communities. Planeta (www.planeta.com) specializes in environmental and tourism reporting. Location, location, location. Choose your destination wisely. For example, while Iceland boasts some of the best whale watching in the world, it also started hunting whales last year in defiance of an international moratorium. Kenya has a strong commitment to conservation and a wide variety of habitats and animals, but countries like Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, also in Africa, are much less responsible with their natural resources. Sleep green. Look for lodges and hotels accredited with the Green Seal Certification for environmentally responsible practices (see a list online at www.greenseal.org/certproducts.htm#lodging). Vacationing in Canada? The Hotel Association of Canada's ECOmmodation Rating Program (www.hacgreenhotels.com) recognizes hotels, motels, and resorts that are committed to improving their fiscal and environmental performances.
Rent a mini. Why pay big bucks to fill up a gas-guzzler when a cozy little car will get you where you're going just as well? Unless you're planning to go off-road, an SUV is neither necessary nor eco-friendly. Think local. Purchasing food at farmers markets and establishments that offer local groceries helps reduce fossil-fuel consumption and shipping emissions. Be souvenir savvy. Many souvenirs in exotic places are made from endangered animals. Knickknacks made from ivory, reptile skins, tortoise shells and animal fur encourage poachers and may be illegal to bring back to the United States or Canada. Have sea smarts. Humans are visitors to coastal areas and should enjoy them as such. Stay in designated areas and off the dunes. Remember the beach is home to numerous plants, animals and birds that require beaches for nesting and growth. Respect coral reefs. The first thing visitors must realize about reefs is that they're living animals that should never be touched, so be careful when snorkeling and scuba diving. As part of their natural protection, they're covered by a mucous membrane. When touched, the mucous membrane is removed exposing the sensitive reef to many dangers. Don't feed the animals. You may think you're doing that darling chipmunk or monkey a favor by feeding it your leftover sandwich, but you're actually sentencing it to starvation. What will happen when winter comes and the visitors go, and the chipmunk is no longer able to forage food itself? And the same goes for fish and foul. Don't litter. Most people don't realize the cost of litter. Money spent on trash removal is money not available for spending on amenities like campgrounds, visitor centers, etc. Litter is also dangerous to wildlife; plastic six-pack rings, for example, entangle the beaks and mouths of animals, leaving them unable to feed. Get alternative energy certificates. A great way to travel green is to purchase wind certificates that pay for the production of renewable energy generated by wind farms to compensate for pollution created by traditional means of travel. Travelers can purchase $20 certificates each time they purchase a plane ticket or $10 certificates when they rent a car. Purchase certificates through Renewable Choice Energy at www.renewablechoice.com. Take pictures, not petals. Just think: if every visitor to a national park picked one Rocky Mountain Columbine or one Indian Paintbrush, the meadows would soon be bare. Leave everything as it is for others to enjoy. Besides, a photograph will last much longer.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE NEXT 15 YEARS
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE NEXT 15 YEARS
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MONTAGE â€˘ Cupcakes and celebs and readers saying happy anniversary
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MONTAGE â€˘ Cupcakes and celebs and readers saying happy anniversary